Community Self Build Agency - Previous Projects

CSBA have completed over 178 self-build projects across the UK to date, developing in-excess of 1200 housing units to some of the most disadvantaged members of the local community.

One of the most recent, and prominent schemes, completed was The Nelson Project in Plymouth.

The Nelson Project

The Nelson Project, a Veterans’ self-build project in Millbay, Plymouth, is an award winning 24-home site including 12 self-build units for ex-service personnel, six units for people with learning disabilities and six general use affordable homes.

The self-build Veterans completed a 10-week Foundation Level 1 construction course to help develop the skills needed to help them engage with the project, as well as provide them with valuable job-based skills.

The Nelson Project was a partnership between the Community Self Build Agency charity, local housing association DCHPlymouth City Council, and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). It was funded with £898,200 from the HCA and Plymouth City Council provided £450,000 capital funding. It follows a similar successful scheme in Bristol and paved the way for other schemes are now in the pipeline elsewhere in the country.

During the project build some of the self-build Veterans involved in the project were asked about their experiences, and here's what they had to say:


"My journey with the self-build has been vast and varied and I enjoyed all aspects of working on site. Through the training opportunities provided by CSBA I have found a natural ability in plastering, something I am helping with daily on site. This is very empowering for me." Cade, Self-Builder


"As an older, more experienced Veteran, I have found that I have been able to help the other self-builders and manage the day-to-day tasks around site. The work and training are valuable commodities and I’ve managed to get involved with the important task of fundraising for this worthy cause." Simon, Self-Builder


"My transformation as a person is solely down to the help and mentoring that the CSBA and Help for Heroes have given me. I am actively more mobile and the lessons and skills I have learned on site are helping me to become a better person moving forward." Ben, Self-Builder


"I have enjoyed the experience so far and will start a law degree in the summer with the help and guidance I have received." Brendon, Self-Builder


"My life has been turned around since leaving service and engaging with the CSBA at The Nelson Project. I have completed my gas works training and exams and have been fortunate enough to use my training and skills to seek employment with British Gas." Jason, Self-Builder


"I have been severely ill for the last 8 months, but the support and help the CSBA has afforded me, has been invaluable to me in my recovery." James, Self-Builder