Green Manifesto 2010 Housing

Promoting affordability and sustainability

We would:

• Resume direct investment in council and other social housing and allow local authorities to use receipts from sales to fund new affordable accommodation. In particular, while the building trade remains depressed because of the recession we would provide £2bn in 2010 rising to £4bn in 2011 to local authorities to expand social housing, mainly through conversion and renovation, and create 80,000 jobs.
• There are about one million empty homes. Halve this number through empty property use orders.
• Provide more rights for homeless people, giving local authorities the same duties with regard to single people and childless couples as to families, and ending the practice of declaring people ‘intentionally homeless’.
• Take steps to ensure that development is more evenly distributed across the whole of the country, so reducing pressure on housing in the South East in particular.
• Minimise encroachment onto undeveloped ‘greenfield sites’ wherever possible by reusing previously developed sites that have fallen into disuse .
• End the right to buy and introduce the right to rent.People facing severe difficulties with paying their mortgage and facing repossession should have a right to rent their existing home as council housing, analogous but opposite to the Tory ‘right to buy’.

We would make up to £2bn per annum available to local authorities to support ‘right to rent.’

• Introduce a free home insulation programme for all homes that need it, with priority for pensioners and those living in fuel poverty, aiming to insulate 4 million homes every year. Such a programme would cost £2bn in 2010 rising to £4bn a year and create 80,000 jobs.
• Introduce incentives totalling £2bn per annum to encourage homes to become more energy self-sufficient by aiming for 1,000,000 solar roofs, and support generous feed-in tariffs for micro-generation, creating 40,000 jobs in the installation industries.
• Abolish standing charges on fuel bills and set tariffs to favour smaller consumers.
• Set building regulations to require excellent energy standards on a points-based system, which will cover embodied energy of building materials, energy used in construction, energy consumption in use, on-site energy generation and use of heat distribution networks.
• Increase the tax-free amount on the ‘Rent a Room’ scheme from £4,250 to £9,000 a year. This would reduce repossessions, provide more affordable housing and make better use of the existing housing stock.

Greens have real experience of running a free insulation scheme

Green Councillors in Kirklees worked in partnership with energy companies to provide free insulation for households in Kirklees, Yorkshire, in a scheme that has created more than 128 jobs and new training facilities. The scheme cost £20m over three years, and aims to insulate 40,000–60,000 homes in total.

• Support self-build social co-operatives.
• Accept that climate change will mean that some housing cannot be protected from flooding in a sustainable way, and assist financially those whose homes become uninhabitable. Also invest £1bn in sustainable flood defences and sustainable drainage systems, creating 20,000 jobs, and ensure that insurance is available for flooding.
• Oppose new arm’s length management organisations and ensure genuine tenant participation in existing ones.
• Ensure that new housing proposals are based on independent housing needs surveys. Commercial house builders and their representatives should not be involved in the process.

Green Manifesto 2010

Green Manifesto 2010 : Introduction

Green Manifesto 2010 : The Economy: Making it fair, making it work

Green Manifesto 2010 : Managing The Economy

Green Manifesto 2010 : Work And Jobs

Green Manifesto 2010 : Welfare

Green Manifesto 2010 : Taxation

Green Manifesto 2010 : Taxes to Protect The Enviroment

Green Manifesto 2010 : Local Living

Green Manifesto 2010 : Local Services

Green Manifesto 2010 : Housing

Green Manifesto 2010 : Education

Green Manifesto 2010 : Health

Green Manifesto 2010 : Crime

Green Manifesto 2010 : Waste

Green Manifesto 2010 : Small Business

Green Manifesto 2010 : Citizens and Government

Green Manifesto 2010 : Policies For Citizenship

Green Manifesto 2010 : Government: It’s Ours

Green Manifesto 2010 : Climate Change

Green Manifesto 2010 : Energy

Green Manifesto 2010 : Transport

Green Manifesto 2010 : Farming, Food And Animal Protection

Green Manifesto 2010 : International Development, Peace and Security

Green Manifesto 2010 : Foreign Policy and Defence

Green Manifesto 2010 : Terrorism and the causes of terrorism

Green Manifesto 2010 : A positive role in Europe

Green Manifesto 2010 : Immigration

Green Manifesto 2010 : Trade, Aid and Debt

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