The CSBA was set up in 1980's in the wake of the St Paul's Riots in Bristol. Stella Clarke CBE was moved by the despair of the displaced, young, black men and launched a project that gave them the opportunity to learn vital employment skills in the building trade whilst helping to rebuild their community. From this the CSBA was born and in the intervening years has completed over 178 self build projects across the UK, providing some 1200 housing units and thousands of qualifications for disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community. We are a proven vanguard in helping families in crisis and the welfare support necessary to enable a permanent solution to Veteran homelessness and employment.

In 2010 Stella was introduced to Major Ken Hames MBE, an ex SAS officer who made her aware of the plight of homeless service personnel and the focus of the CSBA switched to helping these people and the Veterans Self Build arm of the charity was born. The media recently reported that 459 service personnel with PTSD and mental health specific problems were discharged from service in 2017 - and that 40% of these will fall out of the system The proven model is to identify a location where veterans are in need, locate a nominal cost site usually in conjunction with a willing local authority and then approach a pro-active Housing Association as a partner who will lead the construction development phase including securing the regulatory approvals and then appoint an experienced and co-operative contractor.

To date we have helped many Veterans plus their families out of housing crisis and back into employment and education. The benefits to the participants are self-evident but recent independent research carried out by the University of the West of England (UWE) in partnership with The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), focussing on veterans has demonstrated clearly the benefits to the public purse. Reductions in the costs: in mental, hidden wounds (PTSD), alcoholism and other health support; in homelessness; in unemployment and housing benefits; in police, social service, probation, hostel and care; in lost income, NI and spending taxes, suggest a substantial economic cost benefit of between £1: £4.7 and £1: £7.20.

  • News 13.05.19

    Two Bristol charities in chase for £5,000

    Two Bristol-based housing organisations have called on the city’s residents to back them in their attempts to win top prize in a nationwide competition – and with it £5,000. Community Self Build Agency and Ashley Vale Action...

  • News 01.03.18

    The Community Self Build Agency partners with Plymouth City Council on new veteran self-build scheme

    The Community Self Build Agency has once again partnered with  Plymouth City Council  on a new veteran self-build scheme, following the successful completion of the award-winning  Nelson Project . The council has selected a site reserved for...

  • News 04.05.17

    Work Commences on Wrexham Self-Build Development

    Work has commenced on the Community Self-Build Agency's new 16-apartment development in Wrexham. The Ty Ryan project, in association with Williams Homes and First Choice Housing Association, will be named after the late Hilary Ryan, the former CEO of...