That's one of the key takeaway messages in the Chancellor's Spring Statement this week. As the government introduces its Future Homes Standard, requiring that all new-build properties use low-carbon heating and become more energy efficient.
Other headlines included the expansion of the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme by up to £3 billion. Which will enable housing associations to build an extra 30,000 new homes through the scheme.
The additional funding was welcomed as it enables a diverse range of housing options for the already ambitious target of 300,000 additional homes each year. Rather than just being reliant upon volume housebuilders to meet the target, the additional funding enables Affordable Housing providers and developers of alternative tenures such as Build to Rent to contribute to the supply of new homes.
New transport hubs were also announced including Old Oak Common in London, Didcot, Cambridge and Cheshire. The four areas were pinpointed to get £717 million from the £5.5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund.
Against the backdrop of Brexit, and all the uncertainty this brings, time will tell whether these new initiatives are sufficient to keep the momentum going in the property market.
Want to do your bit for the environment, but not sure if you have the time or money to make a difference? Well, with a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions produced by energy in the home, there are some surprisingly simple things you could do that will make a difference.
Choosing Wood Wisely
If you’re buying new wooden furniture, check to see if it’s approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Their stamp of approval will give you the assurance that the wood comes from managed sources and has no environmental impact.
Buy recycled or reclaimed timber. Not only will this work out cheaper than ‘new’ wood but it will add character to your property. Visit www.reclaimed.uk.com, and www.demolitions.co.uk to find out more.
Rather than buying new furniture, why not visit auctions or antique shops instead? You’re likely to find something with more historical interest and character, and you’ll probably save money too. Period furniture is often craftsman built and may prove better quality than anything that arrives flat packed.
Applying a fresh coat of paint is an easy way to brighten up your home, but the manufacture and disposal of paint can be an eco problem. But don’t worry, you don’t need to pack away the paintbrushes, just consider the following tips: