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On 11 August 2021, the Women’s Budget Group published a new policy paper entitled ‘Rethinking Housing Supply and Demand: UK Feminist Green New Deal Policy Paper’.

We were delighted to be involved with this project, and in particular to contribute to framing the paper as a rights-based issue and evidencing the link between the climate emergency and the right to housing.

Issues that we had provided evidence on that were included in the final report include:

  • The need to assert the right to housing that is safe, decent and affordable as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to which the UK is a signatory
  • The interconnectedness and indivisibility of rights – for example the linkage between the right to housing and the right to health
  • Current issues in regard to the realisation to the right to housing in the UK, including high levels of homelessness, inadequate housing, rapidly increasing costs of housing, and how these issues particularly impact protected categories under the Equality Act 2010
  • How the violation of the right to housing impacts climate change.  Examples include the energy inefficiency of much of our housing stock (particularly in the private rented sector), the need for new sustainable homes, and for specific work to be carried out in relation to adapting to the climate changes that the UK is experiencing and will experience in the future

A key rights-based recommendation of the report reads:

“Implementing a right to safe, decent and affordable housing following the most recent UN guidelines, where housing as a home is prioritised over housing as an asset.”

For further reading, check out this blog by our Temporary Researcher, Philippa Hughes, about the report she prepared exploring the right to housing in the context of the climate emergency in the UK.