This post is by Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central. It is one of a collection of essays to be published later this week by Green Alliance, titled Green social democracy: better homes in better places. Similar collections are also being published under ‘Green liberalism’ and ‘Green conservatism’ projects, as part of our Green Roots programme, aiming to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. A version of this piece has also been published on Labour List.
In 2006 the Labour Government introduced a ground-breaking policy for all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016. Zero carbon homes attracted wide support from businesses and charities, unleashing a wave of innovation across the construction sector and beyond. Community self build has an even greater potential, because as well as generating innovation it could also increase the supply of housing and deliver homes that are tailored to local and personal needs, and also high quality and green. Read more