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Energy Efficiency of homes should determine social rent levels - call

A think tank says rents set in the social sector should reflect the energy efficiency of a property.

It’s one of a series of reforms demanded by a group called The Housing Forum, a body that includes developers and suppliers to the housing industry.

Its manifesto - published as an attempt to promote housing as a major topic for this year’s General Election - makes a series of other demands which include: 


- Reintroducing housing targets alongside introduce strong incentives for local authorities to meet them, including requiring a five-year land supply and increasing funding for infrastructure for areas meeting or exceeding their targets;

- Moving community input into planning upstream to the plan-making stage, including the use of design codes;

- Reforming and updating the social rent formula, with rents reflecting the energy efficiency of the property;

- Removing VAT from all forms of retrofitting, regeneration and fire safety work;

- Reforming grant rates for affordable housing to a rate per habitable room to encourage the building of larger homes for families; and

- A £4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund to build an extra 60,000 affordable homes, to cut homelessness in half in three years.  

The Housing Forum is also calling on politicians to avoid “damaging and inflammatory rhetoric such as ‘concreting over the countryside’ to describe building the homes and neighbourhoods needed for people to thrive”.  

Shelagh Grant, chief executive of the Housing Forum, says: "A lack of affordable quality housing is the main problem holding back Britain. It limits people’s prosperity, keeps them in poor health, and stops them from reaching the opportunities they need to thrive. Our Manifesto is a roadmap not just to solving the housing crisis at hand, but for setting the housing sector on a positive trajectory for generations to come." 

And Stephen Teagle, forum chair, adds: "It is positive to see the main political parties taking housing seriously, but a long-term plan is needed to deliver the scale of new housing – and in particular affordable housing that is needed. We need commitment from all political parties to putting housing at the heart of government." 


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    Nut cases 🤐, what must their brain makeup be to come up with a never ending list of bonkers ideas 😄

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    "Moving community input into planning upstream to the plan-making stage, including the use of design codes".

    Any chance someone could translate that word salad into English?

    • A JR
    • 15 January 2024 11:39 AM

    Beyond me!


    Translation = Reducing valid grounds for objection when a planning application for a new housing estate is submitted and consultation takes place (usually the first time people hear about it).

    Design codes are now encouraged by Govt. in its national planning policy, anyway. Quality can be very variable.

    If you do hear about and take part in the "upstream" consultation i.e. when the council's Local Plan is being prepared, it is now more of a waste of time than it used to be.
    Government has rigged the public inquiry system in favour of just getting more land for houses allocated in the Plan, and starting from the assumption that the local authority's plan is correct, unless proved otherwise (found to be 'unsound').

    Plans still need to be 'evidence based'. But the quality of the evidence can be complete rubbish.
    E.g. assuming a sustainable walking route, when in reality the footpath is only 0.5m wide, on one side (and not always the same side) of a busy 'B' road between 2 towns. Which is why you never see anyone walking along it.
    Also, a safe walking and cycling route along a narrow country lane (no footways or cycle lane) between 2 towns, which has no street lighting and is used as a 'rat run' by work vans at high speeds. Not having a death wish, I wouldn't dare walk along it; particularly on a dark winter late afternoon.
    Looks like the consultants producing this evidence hadn't even tried visiting the location, just worked off a map.

    I was at one Local Plan Public Inquiry hearing when I was the only person not being paid to be there.

    Yes, the 5 year land supply and targets bits would be just re-instating the current Government's previous policy, before it had to cave in to back bench pressure.
    Lots of people on here have said more homes need to be built: that cave in won't help. But it means rents will rise.


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