NHIC call for new UK Government to address housing challenges

Downing Street street sign

With a snap election just around the corner we’ve been seeing the parties’ manifestos and pledges across the news.

There’s a strong focus on Brexit, and the next UK Government will face a number of challenges in managing Britain’s exit from the EU.

Alongside Brexit, the Government must overcome the fundamental domestic challenges Britain is facing. The NHIC (National Home Improvement Council) has issued a ‘Five Point Plan’ and is urging the parties to consider how they will achieve this in their manifestos.

NHIC’s Manifesto 2017-22 encourages the new Government to:

  1. Stimulate Public Awareness – As well as the rapid increase in the building of new homes to meet the current Government’s target of 1 million new homes by 2020, there is still the need to improve the existing housing stock. This can be done by increasing public awareness and ensuring compliant and legal products are used.
  2. Improve Quality, Safety and Affordability of Building Work – Further measures need to be taken to improve the quality, safety and affordability of building work. This could be achieved by strengthening Building Regulations, reducing VAT on housing renovation and ensuring that there is a universal quality mark.
  3. Ensure the UK has sufficient skilled workers – It’s imperative that we deliver quality now and after we’ve left the EU. We need to ensure that apprenticeships and vocational training remain attractive to potential apprentices and that the training is of high quality and for a suitable duration.
  4. Reduce the number of households living in Fuel Poverty – Previous government measures have focussed on reducing the number of people living in poverty using additional financial support to those in need. The government also needs to ensure that their investment in reducing energy bills is targeted at improving the energy efficiency of UK homes.
  5. Prevent the Rental of Energy Inefficient Homes – The government must confirm that the current measures sanctioned to prevent energy inefficient homes being rented out post April 2018 will still take place.

Anna Scothern, Executive Director of the NHIC said “27% of the UK’s CO2 emissions come from our existing 26 million homes and while demand for housing continues to rise with new house building failing year on year, to meet the established government target of 1 million new homes by 2020, refurbishment, repair and maintenance must be clearly reflected as part of the new Government’s overall housing strategy.”

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