Kevin McCloud calls for community of investors to join HAB housing's expansion into custom build
Writer, presenter and designer Kevin McCloud today launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £1.5m for Hab Housing and announced his company’s ambition to lead the growth of the custom build market in the UK.
Hab Housing was established in 2007 by McCloud as an alternative to highly commoditised, bland and homogenous suburban housing. Its first scheme of 42 homes – The Triangle, Swindon – was completed in 2011, won a number of prestigious awards and was the focus of a two-part documentary on Channel 4. A second 78-home scheme is on site in Stroud. Planning permission has just been obtained for three projects in Oxford offering a total of 108 homes, retail space and a sports and community centre. Haboakus and Hab have a pipeline of opportunity including options agreed on a site in Gloucestershire with capacity for up to 1,500 homes.
Today’s drive for new investment comes as Hab seeks to grow its business of building sustainable, beautiful homes whilst expanding its offer to include custom build, self build and custom finish options. The Government has made £30m of loan finance available to kick-start community-based custom build and Hab is perfectly positioned to leverage this in partnership with local communities. Research has shown that up to 6 million people in the UK have expressed an interest in building their own home, whether in the Grand Designs mould or as customers of a house-builder – the custom build method.
Hab is now matching its innovative approach to design with innovation at a corporate level; 20% of the business is today being offered via Crowdcube – the world’s first equity crowdfunding website for businesses – with the minimum investment set at £100.
Click here to visit the investment pitch
In return, the company will invest in growth and aims to issue a dividend of no less than 5% from the end of 2016 and provide a ready market for Hab shares by the end of 2018. Investors will also be offered a 5% saving on any purchase of a Hab home up to the level of investment.
Kevin McCloud said:
Self building and custom building can be perceived as risky, expensive and fraught with difficulty. Hab Housing are keen to demonstrate that building, or customising your own home can be both pleasurable and affordable. Our aim is to start to bridge the gap between the scale and ambition of the traditional self builder and the efficiency and affordability of volume house-building, in other words to take self-building from ‘niche to mainstream’.
We have always felt that a business that aims to build great places for people should offer opportunities for the public to be involved in the business. Crowdfunding does this. We want to have an investor crowd and a customer crowd, with hopefully a big overlap between the two.
Kevin McCloud also announces plans to base sustainable housing business in Bristol
Kevin McCloud said:
‘Over the last 20 years Bristol has emerged not only as a creative powerhouse, but now as an inspiring place to live, work – and do business. Its ambitious pursuit of and commitment to sustainability have recently been rewarded – quite rightly - by the winning of the European Green Capital accolade 2015. This makes Bristol an even more attractive place to develop and expand our business. We are actively seeking projects in the city to showcase in 2015’.