CIEH demands progress on Queen’s Speech housing and environment pledges

11 May 2021, Ross Matthewman

CIEH has welcomed the Government’s focus on housing and environmental issues in the Queen’s Speech, but lamented the slow progress in meeting key pledges.

In today’s Queen’s Speech, the UK Government announced plans to bring forward legislation setting out legally-binding environmental targets, re-committed the UK to achieving net-zero by 2050, and promised to publish its consultation response on reforming tenancy law, abolishing Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, and to explore the merits of a landlord register. 

However, the Government’s flagship Environment Bill is not new legislation and has already been delayed multiple times. Alongside this, the long-awaited Renters Reform Bill is still yet to properly materialise, with only a white paper to present proposals on improving housing standards being announced.

Debbie Wood, Executive Director for Membership and External Affairs CIEH, said:

“The UK Government’s focus on protecting our environment and improving housing standards is very much welcome.

The commitment to bringing in ambitious and legally-binding environmental targets is promising, as is the pledge to explore the key CIEH campaign call of creating a national register for landlords.

However, it really is time that their rhetoric was matched by action. The Environment Bill has repeatedly been kicked into the long-grass before it’s re-announcement today.

Likewise, the Renters Reform Bill remains out of reach, with only a white paper being offered for some time later in the year.

We welcome the Government’s ambitions in these key areas, and fully support plans to accelerate progress towards meeting the target of net zero. Changes to climate will have a huge impact on people’s health and wellbeing now and in the future.

However, now is the time to turn these pledges into action. We want to see tangible policies and funding for building a greener economy, for improving energy efficiency and housing standards, and for meeting World Health Organisation targets for reducing air pollution.”

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