Responding to the launch of the Conservative election manifesto, Simon Storer Chief Executive of BRUFMA said “We are pleased that the Conservative manifesto has heeded our concerns and embraced BRUFMA’s call to ensure the UK does not reduce the quality of housing at the expense of quantity. Promising to deliver one million homes by 2020 and a further half a million by 2022 will go some way toward addressing the housing crisis, and the manifesto stresses a commitment to build high quality sustainable homes for the future, which we welcome.
There is also a recognition of the importance of energy efficiency for existing homes, but it is disappointing that the Conservatives are only considering improving fuel poor homes when we know that there must be proper incentives to bring all the UK’s housing stock up to a much higher level of energy efficiency. This will be essential if the UK is to stand any chance of meeting its 2050 climate change targets and reducing energy consumption.
This would not only provide a better living environment for many families, it would also reduce energy usage and thereby help with other manifesto commitments regarding energy generation and would indicate a much more joined up way of thinking in addressing these varying challenges.
The recent past is littered with broken promises about housing numbers and failed energy performance policies. We know we have the products, the expertise and the ability to build and refurbish the UK’s buildings to very high standards. But this will only be done if there is real political commitment and an insistence of meeting ever increasing standards applied through regulation, credible assessment and a valid measuring regime that shows performance has been met.
Let’s hope this manifesto doesn’t go the same way as so many others before it and end up as a series of missed opportunities.”