Home heating systems included in draft SNP-Greens deal

A TARGET one million Scottish homes, using ‘zero emission’ heating systems by the year 2030, has been agreed between the SNP-led Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party.

The agreement is one of several involving housing and also the environment struck between the SNP and the Scottish Greens to cement a majority of votes in the Scottish Parliament.

The draft document – requiring ratification from the members of both political parties – also considers the provision of ‘affordable’ housing.

Says the document (here): “The Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party believe that we need to decarbonise how we heat our homes and buildings to meet the net zero pathway, so that by 2030 at least one million homes and at least 50,000 non-domestic buildings are using zero emission heating systems instead of fossil fuel boilers.

“We also agree that, where technically and legally feasible and cost-effective, by 2030 a large majority of buildings should achieve a good level of energy efficiency, which for homes is at least equivalent to an EPC Band C, with all homes meeting at least this standard by 2033.

“We are committed to ensuring a socially-just and fair transition for consumers in particular, continuing to eradicate fuel poverty, and to ensuring that our existing and potential workforce has the support, skills and retraining needed to realise the significant economic opportunities from refurbishing our building stock.”

Adds the document: “We will deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 of which at least 70 per cent will be available for social rent and ten per cent will be in our remote, rural and island communities.

“We will develop a Remote, Rural & Islands Housing action plan to ensure we meet the housing needs of those areas and help retain people and attract them to these communities. This will be backed by a Remote, Rural and Island Housing Fund of at least £45m as part of our overall affordable housing supply programme funding in this parliamentary session.”

The document goes on to say: “We also agree:

  • through all of this work, to use innovative methods to engage people with the proposals we consult on, including through listening to those with lived experience;
  • to improve the availability of homes by working together to regulate short-term lets, give local authorities the ability to manage the impact of second homes and bring empty homes back into use. Where possible, empty homes will be brought into the social rented sector;
  • to progress work towards tenure-neutral standards and work to develop a new Housing Standard for all tenures that is aligned with the proposed energy efficiency and heat standards;
  • to work to end homelessness, including by rolling out a housing-first approach;
  • to take forward the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament working group on tenement maintenance;
  • to explore ways in which we can provide further support for housing cooperatives, including potentially through LBTT relief, through funding and financing options;
  • to consult, as part of the Rented Sector Strategy, on how we will deliver a rent guarantor scheme for estranged young people; and
  • to ensure community housing trusts are adequately funded so that they can support the delivery of our enhanced rural home building plans.”

The broad philosophy behind the partnership is explained here.

Picture: Glasgow; Picture credit: Place Design Scotland