Renew backs Greens call for world-class public housing

Renew supports the announcement by the Australian Greens of a policy for a large-scale build of energy efficient public housing.

The Green New Deal for public housing policy calls for government action to build 500,000 homes over 15 years in order to tackle Australia’s housing crisis and stimulate the economy in the face of a possible global recession.

The Greens policy includes a commitment to ensure that the new homes will:

  • Meet a 7 Star NatHERS rating standard
  • Have efficient all-electric heating and cooling
  • Have attached solar
  • Utilise sustainable materials
  • Ensure thermal, acoustic and aesthetic comfort for residents

This policy is a serious plan not only to stimulate jobs and address Australia’s homelessness crisis, but to demonstrate that public housing can and should be world class.

Making homes more energy efficient is a win-win-win: efficient homes mean better health, lower power bills, more comfort, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and less pressure on the electricity grid at peak times.

Building quality, 7 star rated homes with efficient electric appliances and renewable energy generation will reduce emissions and ensure that residents live in safe and comfortable homes.

Government investment now in high performance public housing will furthermore build the capacity of industry to improve energy performance across the board at low cost.

Alongside this important plan, further opportunities exist to create jobs, improve health outcomes and reduce pollution by investing in energy performance upgrades to millions of existing Australian homes.

Many existing homes are not fit for purpose in the face of climate change and severe summer heatwaves. Homes built before 2003 have an average energy performance rating of less than 2 stars. Older people, people on low incomes, and renters are most likely to be living in homes with poor energy performance and are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.

Renew is pushing for a minimum rating of at least 7 stars NatHERS for new homes, extensive energy efficiency improvements to existing homes, and the mandatory disclosure of energy performance when selling or leasing a home.

Read more about Renew’s Climate Resilient Homes campaign.