Self Build Stories
Case studies and key benefits of the Self Build Loan Fund in Scotland
In February 2021, we prepared a one-page briefing paper about the growing need for the Fund, and its impacts so far. Download it below:
Since 2018 when the Fund began, we’ve seen growing demand for the Self-Build Loan Fund. As the housing situation nationally has become more challenging due to Brexit and Covid, and banks are still not lending widely for self-builds, we’ve seen an increasing trend in interest in the Fund over 2020, rising by 153%.
Although the total fund is £4 million, we expect to provide £5.1 million in loans to applications received by August 2021. This includes ‘recycling’ loans already repaid, to finance additional builds.
Feel free to download and share the infographic, left.
 Figure of 153% is based on trends in Loan Fund brochure downloads on the CHT website since beginning of 2020.
 Figure of £7 million supporting the Scottish economy is based on average construction cost (Feb 2021) of £199,000 x 35 anticipated homes.
 Figure of 250 jobs is based on 7 FTE jobs per 35 anticipated construction projects.
"Me and Tracy had looked at building our dream family home to bring our kids up in. We tried to secure a self-build mortgage from several banks but got turned down by all four of them.
"Thinking we had to give up on our dream, we heard about the Self Build Loan Fund (SBLF). With all other options tried we contacted the Communities Housing Trust. Neil Walker and his team were more than happy to look over our application and help in any way they could. It didn’t take long to hear back that we were eligible to receive the funding to build our home. Neil and his team we always very easy to get hold of be it by email or by phone.
"Without this amazing fund we simply would not have been able to build our family home. A year down the line after the build has been completed me and my family have settled in to our home and couldn’t be happier. This would not have happened without the SBLF.
"I really hope that this fund will always be there to help a family in the same situation as ourselves. To help them have their dream home, a place they can call their own. On behalf of me and my partner thank you to the Communities Housing Trust for making our dream possible."
Lee & Tracy, Orkney
"We decided a little later on in life that we would like to build our own home. However we soon discovered that getting any type of lending facility was an issue completely based on our ages.
"The Self Build Loan Fund through Scottish Government now has us well on our way to achieving our dream of building our own home. Without this facility, we probably would never have been able to do this. It offers the possibility to people who may normally be excluded from more traditional lending avenues to fulfil their aim of living in the home they have created.
"The process is relatively straightforward, guided by helpful and knowledgeable people. I would urge anyone in a similar situation to us to find out more about this fantastic initiative."
"Anne and I bought a beautiful plot of land in the perfect location, only to find that we were unable to secure a mortgage due to my age, despite us both being in full-time employment and each having a top-grade credit score. This came as a bit of a shock as we thought were going to be unable to build our new house.
"Fortunately we spotted the Trust stand at the housebuilding show and were astonished to learn about the Self-Build Loan Fund.
"This represented the turning point. We found everyone at the Trust to be so helpful. The advice we were given, the personal nature of their service etc. were all of the highest quality. We applied for the funding and were successful.
"Our new house is now coming on well. The builder hopes to have it finished by late Spring 2021 and Anne and I are so excited about living in this lovely environment.
"We owe it all to The Scottish Government’s initiative in introducing this scheme and to Neil and Morven from The Trust who have looked after us so well. Thank you to everyone at the Trust."
Jim & Anne, Garchell near Stirling
"Raising £175,000 through the Self Build Loan Fund (SBLF) was a vital link to enable us to achieve two main aims: Have the confidence and wherewithal to secure our own move to Mull, and to do so by adding to the available housing stock on the Island.
"As retirees, we had the advantage of the value built up in our previous home but it was very difficult, and expensive, to secure a commercial bridging loan to enable to self-build before we had sold our existing property. The SBLF provided the vital bridging finance. Having the loan also meant that we could pursue the build quickly, within the limited construction window available due to the weather.
"And, importantly for us, it meant we could talk confidently to local builders and contractors, with us and them secure in the knowledge that we could pay them, and that they would be paid on time.
"The discipline of working within the SBLF, and the guidance we obtained from the Communities Housing Trust, also ensured that we understood the challenges as well as benefits of self-build on Mull.
"As with other islands and marginal communities, building on Mull already carries a cost overhead for the supply and delivery of building materials. The SBLF provides vital access to finance and knowledge, making the personal dream of home ownership available to local families, adding to the longer-term resident housing stock, and underpinning sustainable island communities.
Gary & Susan, Mull
"With no access to traditional self-build finance, funding through Communities Housing Trust gave us the lifeline needed to move forward with our project to build our family home.
"From the start, CHT have been refreshingly quick and easy to work alongside. As we progress through the self-build journey, having our funding confirmed through CHT gives us peace of mind that funding can be accessed in stages when required allowing us to give our full attention to the building journey.
"It is fair to say without CHT, we would not have been able to consider self-building."
Dan & Lusanda, Argyll & Bute
"It’s with great pleasure that I write this testimonial in relation to the Communities Housing Trust providing me with a loan from the Self Build Loan Fund.
"Most of my dealings initially were with Bill Allan who guided me through the initial stage, Bill was a gentleman, and assisted me at every turn, with the little experience I had in house building, he helped me enormously in setting up.
"I then had the pleasure of dealing with Neil Walker, and I cannot speak highly enough of him. From the first time I spoke to him, any query in relation to land law to house building and when I needed advice, he was always at the end of the phone, even during a difficult stage in everyone’s life with the pandemic.
"I would recommend the Scottish Self Build Loan Fund to anyone thinking of starting a self-build project, it’s been a pleasure.