15 January 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Any new social homes must be energy efficient, claims a report into England's housing crisis by consultancy Elmhurst Energy.
The report, authored by 16 independent commissioners, including former Labour leader Ed Miliband and Baroness Syeeda Warsi, maintains that three million new social houses must be built in the next 20 years to address the problem, and the homes must meet energy-efficiency criteria.
The condition of privately and social rented properties was mentioned in the report and this remains a problem for many tenants.
Recently introduced MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) legislation in 2018 required private landlords to ensure that their properties were a minimum grade E, in the knowledge that this would improve the living conditions of those on low incomes, with lower fuel bills and warmer homes.
The Decent Homes Standard has driven social housing to lead the way with energy efficiency where the level of poor housing is about half that of the private sector.
The report identifies "expensive and insecure private renting as a particular barrier to home ownership, as well as a lack of readily available social housing".
The government has stated that providing social housing is a priority and that it plans to build 250,000 homes by 2022, including those for social rent.