Dense housing

Manifesto promises: housing in the spotlight

How the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens measure up on housing.
28 November 2019 , Katie Coyne

Housing is a key policy area in most of the political parties' manifestos. Here's how their pledges match up with CIEH's demands.

A key policy area for CIEH is the call for a mandatory national registration scheme for landlords and agents in England. Registration and licensing schemes covering all rented properties already operate in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- Labour and the Lib Dems have committed to nationwide licensing and tougher sanctions for rogue landlords
- Neither the Conservatives or Green party have commented specifically on registration or licensing

CIEH said in its manifesto that the next Government should update planning and building control policies to ensure that new homes built today are healthy and safe, fully energy efficient (see below), have adequate ventilation and, as far as possible, mitigate against the effects of climate change and unpredictable weather patterns.
Conservatives
- Support the creation of new kinds of homes that have low energy bills
- Continue to implement the Hackitt Review recommendations, and support the removal of unsafe cladding.
- Encourage innovative design and technology to make housing more affordable, accessible, and suitable for disabled people and an ageing population

Labour
- £1bn fire safety fund to fit sprinklers and other safety measures in high rises to ensure Grenfell never happens again
- Review the planning guidance for developments in flood risk areas
- Introduce a tough, zero-carbon homes standard for all new homes to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency

Lib Dems
- Require new homes and non-domestic buildings to be built to a zero-carbon standard by 2021, rising to a more ambitious (‘Passivhaus’) standard by 2025.

Green Party
- Update the fire safety regulations relating to the use of all types of insulation
in buildings.
- Creation of 100,000 new energy efficient council homes a year built to Passivhaus or equivalent standard so they use 90% less energy.
- Transform planning and building regulations, so all new buildings built by private developers are built to the Passivhaus standard
- Reinstate the requirement for local council building control inspectors to carry out inspections of new build properties and renovations to ensure this work is carried out to the required standards.

More than 2.5m people in England are living in fuel poverty. CIEH wants to see energy efficiency made a priority for housing across the UK, targeting homes suffering from fuel poverty, and those with the lowest energy efficiency standards. The Green Party and Lib Dems had the most detail on this.
Conservatives
- Invest £9.2m in the energy efficiency of homes, as well as schools and hospitals.

Labour
- Upgrade almost all of the UK’s 27 million homes to the highest energy standards to eliminate fuel poverty - and cut average energy bill by £417 per household per year - creating new jobs.
- Decarbonise heat, using heat pumps, solar panels, and district heating

Lib Dems
- Cut energy bills and fuel poverty by 2025 – including free energy efficiency retrofits for low-income homes
- Emergency ten-year programme to reduce energy consumption from all buildings, investing £6bn a year on home insulation and zero carbon heating
- Empower councils to develop community energy-saving projects
- Increase minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented properties and remove the cost cap on improvements.
- Adopt a Zero-Carbon Heat Strategy, requiring the phased installation of heat pumps in homes and businesses, and piloting projects to determine the best future mix of zero-carbon heating solutions.
- Energy-Saving Homes scheme pilot funded by graduating stamp duty land tax

Green Party
- Improve building regulations so all renovations to roofs, external walls, windows and doors improve the energy performance of that part of the building to the equivalent of (or better than) an Energy Performance Certificate A rating.
- Better insulation for all homes that need it, by 2030
- Major heating upgrades for 1 million homes a year so they reach the highest standard of energy efficiency
- Prioritise low-income homes for energy efficiency upgrades
- Ensure that all 8 million rented homes are A rated for energy efficiency, or as close to this as possible, by implementing a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard escalator to raise the minimum level allowed from the current E rating to A rating by 2030.
- Change the planning system to incentivise renovation, extension and improvement of existing buildings, rather than relying on new build, to reduce the use of steel, concrete, cladding and finishes, which produce massive amounts of carbon in their manufacture.
- Reduce the use of natural gas and switch to renewable energy supplies and set up heat networks

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