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Policy update from CE National – February 9th 2024

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announces new standards to improve service for all social housing tenants

On Tuesday (6 February), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities released plans for new standards to ensure social housing residents are satisfied with their landlords. This comes after a survey recently found that a quarter of social housing residents are not satisfied that their landlord listens to their views and acts upon them. With the Social Housing (Regulation) Act now on the statute book, the Regulator of Social Housing has greater authority to inspect providers and restrict those who fail to comply from receiving funding from the Affordable Homes Programme.

Environmental Audit Committee hears evidence on grid connectivity queues for the Net Zero transition

On Wednesday (7 February), the Environmental Audit committee heard oral evidence from several providers of clean energy on how best to fix the grid connectivity issues currently being experienced in new clean energy projects. This was discussed in the context of a predicted increase in electricity demands from decarbonised housing stock. Susie Elks, Senior Policy Advisor at E3G, called for the roll out of heat networks where practical, and for efficiency improvements to existing housing stock in order to facilitate the transition to clean energy.

 

Michael Gove gives evidence to the Lords Built Environment Committee

On Tuesday (6 February), Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, was questioned by the Built Environment Committee on topics including the finances of the Department, nutrient neutrality, Modern Methods of Construction, and the rate of housebuilding in relation to migration. During the session, Gove argued that for MMC to work, construction companies need to be assured of the economic benefits of the practice, with a sufficient pipeline of work to show a return on investment.

IN THE NEWS

Labour ‘not sorry’ for scrapping £28bn green manifesto pledge – The Times

The Times reports Labour has scrapped its £28 billion per year green investment pledge. Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has said she will make “no apologies” for it, as she argues the party is holding itself to the fiscal rules it has set out to make sure green investment is “responsible and achievable”. Despite this, she has insisted she will be the UK’s first “green chancellor”. Labour have cut their plans down to spending £5 billion per year, reducing their flagship policy to insulate 19 million homes by 2030 down to 5 million. Retained sections of their previous green pledge are the formation of a state-owned energy company called GB Energy, and investing in decarbonising heavy industry through a national wealth fund.

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