Green Party pledges rent controls, insulation and heat pump spending

By admin Jun14,2024

The Green Party has unveiled its party manifesto, which includes a plan to control rents.

Any MPs elected for the Greens would campaign for councils to be allowed to impose rent controls, as well as ban Section 21 evictions.

The party made insulation a core focus, as the Greens proposed spending £49 billion over the course of five years to insulate homes and public buildings, as well as fitting properties with heat pumps.

The Greens would also let councils take control of empty homes, as well as end Right to Buy, a policy that’s been widely blamed on reducing the UK’s stock of council houses.

The party would aim to build 150,000 social homes in England per year, signalling that the focus is on appealing to tenants more than landlords.

These spending increases would be funded via a wealth tax on those worth at least £10 million.

Adrian Ramsay, co-leaders of the Green Party, said: “Labour and the Conservatives would rather hide their plans for cuts to public services than confront the need for a fairer tax system that asks those with the broadest shoulders to pay more – including the very wealthiest in society, who have grown even wealthier over the last 14 years.”

Another housing plan would give local authorities guarantees that new housing developments would be in appropriate sites, and would come with money invested into infrastructure like GP surgeries, buses and extra school and nursery places. The plan reflects that the Greens run or co-run a number of councils, though critics could accuse them of being nimbyist.

In terms of parliamentary seats, the Green Party is particularly targeting Brighton Pavilion, which they currently hold, as well as Bristol Central, where the party is primarily competing with Labour.

Detailed analysis from Boyer

Lawrence Turner, director of developer Boyer, said: “The Green Party’s manifesto for housing affordability and sustainability presents a bold vision for a more environmentally friendly and affordable housing market in the UK.

“Their slogan “Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price” outlines their commitment to addressing the pressing issues of housing affordability and sustainability.

“One of the key policies outlined in the Green’s manifesto is the requirement for local authorities to plan for small-scale developments within local communities. This approach aims to integrate new housing into existing communities rather than planning for the creation of new towns, urban extensions, or any strategic development.

“Additionally, the Party wants all new homes to meet Passivhaus or equivalent standards, promoting energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. By providing 150,000 new affordable homes each year and implementing measures like a community right to buy for local authorities, the Green Party believe this will make a significant difference in improving affordability in the housing sector.

“However, a notable omission in the manifesto is the absence of details on how exactly 150,000 social / affordable homes would be delivered each year. The strategy of piecemeal development across local areas would pose challenges in planning and delivering the necessary infrastructure to support housing growth. Additionally, a sporadic approach to housing development, will make the delivery of the targeted number of affordable homes impossible to achieve, especially when considering the need for developments on greenfield sites as well as urban land.

“The overarching theme is the Green Party’s commitment to transitioning to a zero-carbon society. By investing in renewable energy sources like onshore and offshore wind and promoting community ownership of energy sources, the Greens aim to decentralise power generation and reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels. Empowering communities to control their energy supply would be an important step forward to achieving sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.

“In conclusion, while the Green Party’s manifesto for housing affordability and sustainability presents ambitious goals, it remains undeliverable – and lacks any details on how these goals will be effectively achieved. Addressing the challenges of planning and delivering the necessary infrastructure for housing growth, as well as providing more clarity on the strategies for achieving affordable housing targets, will be crucial for the Green Party to gain support and credibility in their mission for a more sustainable and affordable housing market in the UK.”

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