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Bright Blue calls for the Government in its forthcoming housing white paper to focus on policies that will help young people acquire better and more affordable homes.

Bright Blue is calling on the Government to:

  • Force local authorities to release some Green Belt land for house building. In return, councils should ensure that the stock of natural capital in other areas is increased.
  • Significantly reduce stamp duty and enable councils to introduce higher Council Tax Bands on more expensive properties.
  • Improve the quality of homes for younger generations by insisting no homeowner should sell their house without achieving a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating.

Commenting, the director of Bright Blue, Ryan Shorthouse, said:

“The housing crisis in Britain affects young people the most. The Government’s focus must now be on helping the next generation secure better and more affordable homes.

“More houses desperately need building, including on the Green Belt. The idea that all Green Belt land is worth preserving is ridiculous and not rooted in reality. The Government should force local authorities, where there is a proven need for additional housing and local authorities cannot and do not meet housebuilding targets through their Local Plans, to release some Green Belt land for building. In return, councils should ensure that the stock of natural capital in other areas is increased, for instance, through tree planting or creating new nature reserves for wildlife.

“Banning unjustifiable estate agency fees on private renters is the right move to help people in the growing private rented sector. But more radical policies are now needed to boost the number of secure and high-quality homes for private renters.

“To help first-time buyers on the housing ladder, the Government should substantially reduce Stamp Duty and instead allow Local Authorities to increase Council Tax on more expensive properties.

“Improving the quality of homes for current and future generations should be a top priority for Government. Making homes more energy efficient is part of this. No homeowner should therefore be able to sell their house without achieving a minimum rating on their Energy Performance Certificate.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For further media enquiries, please contact our Communications Manager of Bright Blue, Laura Round, on laura@brightblue.org.uk or 07543759844.

  • In the report Better Homes; incentivising home energy improvements Bright Blue proposes that the Government introduce minimum energy performance standards for properties at the point of sale and when other renovations on the property are carried out. At the point of sale, households must by law acquire an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). A minimum EPC rating could be mandated in order for the sale of the home to be permitted. Second, the building code could be amended to mandate builders to improve the home’s overall energy performance whenever renovations take place. The costs of the home energy improvements could be capped so they do not exceed a certain proportion of the overall cost of the building works. The minimum standard of energy performance could be increased over time to ensure government policy objectives were achieved. The government could introduce exemptions for certain households, such as multiple occupancy properties or listed buildings.