The UK needs a radical new housing policy that addresses the climate crisis, health and inequality, says the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT).
Both the Covid-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns have highlighted how health and housing are inextricably linked.
Currently, around 4.7 million rented households across the UK pay more than a third of their income on rent. ADEPT has warned that a new national housing policy must not create volume at the expense of quality.
The association has highlighted that achieving the government’s target of 300,000 new homes a year will require a holistic approach that balances social, economic and environmental needs.
They have also said that homes must be fit for the future, with zero carbon new builds and existing homes retrofitted to high standards of energy efficiency. They have highlighted that these actions are essential if the UK is to meet the new target of reducing carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.
Paula Hewitt, the new President of Adept said: ‘The pandemic has highlighted the health implications and inequalities of housing.
‘Multiple lockdowns have seen large numbers of people having to spend time at home in situations where it is difficult to maintain distance from others, with inadequate space and facilities to learn or work.
‘Many have also experienced a significant reduction in income, which is likely to lead to increased mortgage and rent arrears, and to more homelessness.
‘It is therefore vital that local planning authorities are given the scope and tools to provide a housing landscape that is affordable, healthy and sustainable going forwards.
‘Covid-19 has been an incredibly challenging time, with local authorities having to find different ways of working to minimise disruption to our services – I want to take this opportunity to thank Nigel for steering us through these unchartered waters.’
To download ADEPT’s full policy position statement on housing, please visit: https://www.adeptnet.org.uk/policy-position-housing-270521
Photo Credit – Pixabay