Homes and Housing
The domestic sector accounts for about 32% of total
UK electricity consumption and mostly uses equipment
that doesn’t meet current standards of energy
efficiency. Scope exists, therefore, for significant
738,000 Scottish households are estimated to live
in fuel poverty, according to the last house condition
survey. Fuel accounts for about twice as much of total
household expenditure for the poorest 20% of the population
as it does in middle-income households.
Scotland has the worst housing conditions in northern
Europe, yet our homes are the basis of our communities.
The Scottish Green Party therefore believes that Scotland
must have high quality privately and publicly owned
housing. When people cannot heat their homes, it damages
their health, education, lifechances and relationships.
The lack of appropriate energy systems, coupled with
poor insulation, continues to have a detrimental impact
on our environment as well as a damaging effect on society.
Robin Harper MSP introduced the first ever members’
debate in the Scottish Parliament on the subject of
fuel poverty and home energy efficiency. He went on
to propose an amendment to the 2001 Housing Act to set
a target to end fuel poverty.
Green housing and planning policies are both practical
and visionary. The practical can be seen in the priority
we give to tackling cold, damp housing – the single
most widespread housing problem Scotland faces. The
visionary can be seen in our determination to put some
soul back into some of the most desolate public and
private estates. Only by making our neighbourhoods places
that mix work, leisure and home life will we reverse
some of the social isolation and fragmentation of recent
Green MSPs will work for the following:
We will introduce a major programme to bring Scottish
homes up to the standard of our Scandinavian counterparts,
with all homes having an energy rating of no less
than 7 out of 10 by 2011. Half a million homes will
be powered wholly or in part by renewable power
sources within ten years and, where possible, the
power sources will be owned by a community organisation
or the householder.
We will introduce further traffic calming measures,
which encourage the area around housing to be used
for recreation both for adults and young people.
We will continue to resist the development of green
field sites, including school playing fields, and
ensure that new housing developments are built as
part of mixed-use communities rather than as commuter
We will end transfers of council housing, unless
to genuinely community-managed housing associations
or co-operatives. We will develop the role of housing
associations in investing in community facilities
within deprived areas in order to address both social
exclusion and economic disparity between different
We will introduce a national housing and homelessness
strategy that assesses the need for additional money
so that councils can respond to new housing and
homelessness duties given to them in the first term
of the Scottish Parliament. We will also phase out
all large-scale hostels for homeless people, replacing
them with shared accommodation where service users
can participate in service planning and implementation.
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