Alongside stamp duty cuts to boost the housing market recovery, yesterday Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new £2bn Green Homes Grant. This means that from September, both homeowners and buy-to-let landlords will be able to apply for vouchers to make their homes more energy-efficient. The grants will cover at least two-thirds of the cost, up to £5,000 per household. And for low-income households, vouchers will cover the full cost of any upgrade needed – up to £10,000.
The aim is to
- make over 650,000 homes more energy efficient
- save households up to £300 a year on their bills
- cut carbon by more than half a mega tonne per year, equivalent to taking 270,000 cars off the road
- create an estimated 140,000 jobs
A £50m fund to pilot new ways to decarbonise social housing is also part of the package.
With people stuck at home for weeks on end during lockdown, our property managers have reported residents, understandably, becoming more aware of the condition of their property. For both leaseholders and renters, property niggles have been pushed to the top of the list of issues they want to talk to their block managers about. So these initiatives are timely and, we hope, will help boost the economy too post-lockdown.
Ringley Group MD Mary-Anne Bowring welcomed the news yesterday, saying “The UK’s housing stock is some of the oldest in Europe and this is not just bad for the environment but bad for our health too, with too many properties suffering from problems with damp and cold. And it’s great that the government’s voucher scheme covers renters, especially as homes in the private rented sector tend to be older.”
“Additional financial support to retrofit outdated homes, stamp duty cuts across the board – including landlords – and the government pledge to remove all dangerous cladding no matter what the cost will create hundreds if not thousands of jobs, kickstart the housing market and raise the quality of our homes.”
But it’s not just existing homes that need the government’s attention. Buildings and construction account for almost 40% of all carbon emissions. Many developers are now taking their environmental responsibilities more seriously. But we’re not there yet. So at the same time as promoting better energy efficiency in existing homes – and helping fund it – developers should be actively encouraged to build greener, to use innovative energy-generating products and to really buy into offsite modular construction to boost the sustainability of the whole property sector.
What do you think about the Government’s new voucher scheme? Will you benefit from it? Let us have your comments.
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