The campaign for
Warm Homes & Lower Bills
Energy Bill Revolution are joining Generation Rent for Rent Freedom Day and an to end fuel poverty in the private rented sector. Wednesday 4th February 1-3pm
Over 9 million people now live in the private rented sector, with the tenure growing rapidly as people find themselves priced out of the housing market and unable to secure social or council housing. Renters often face badly managed properties with poor conditions and a lack of security of tenure. Yet even spending, on average, over 40% of your income on rent, does not guarantee a decent and warm home.
Unfortunately, the expansion of the private rented sector has also seen an increase in the numbers of poorly insulated homes being let out. People renting privately are over four times more likely to be living in a cold home than those who live in social housing. In fact, homes with the lowest energy efficiency rating (G) are twice as common in the private rented sector as in either the social housing sector or throughout Britain’s owner-occupied homes.
And these poorly insulated homes force people into fuel poverty. In the private rented sector, 20% of households live in fuel poverty. For those who live in the lowest energy efficiency bandings (F and G) this increases to 42% of households. These families are forced to spend hundreds of pounds more on their energy bills than those in adequately insulated homes and are more likely to suffer from health problems. In fact, it costs the NHS an estimated £145million every year to treat illnesses that stem from people living in these cold homes. And even worse than this, last year alone, 31,000 people died from the cold; that’s 1 person dying every 6 minutes, many which could have been prevented.
This has to change. The private rented sector needs warm homes now and renters need to have better rights around the energy efficiency of their home. Landlords should not be allowed to rent out homes that are hazardous to human life and kill with the cold. Fuel poverty is a huge concern to private renters; they cannot afford the ever-increasing energy bills on top of extortionate rents.
This is why, as part of Cold Homes Week, the Energy Bill Revolution will be taking part in Rent Freedom Day on 4th February. Nearly 2000 renters will gather at Central Methodist Hall throughout the day to discuss and debate the issues facing the private rented sector, and the housing crisis more generally.
The Energy Bill Revolution will be holding a session on fuel poverty in the private rented sector and beyond from 1 – 2pm. This will be a chance for renters and others to hear about the problems facing those living in cold homes, the recent policy developments around energy efficiency and where the movement needs to go next to get the change we really need.
There will also be a mass lobby of Parliament from 1-3pm where renters can meet with their MP to voice their concerns and demand action. Energy Bill Revolution will be producing materials so attendees can highlight to their elected representative the continuing scandal of Britain’s cold homes.
Other activities include the first hustings of 2015, with the main parties debating housing, as well as panel debates on Rent Control and Renter Power and workshops on a whole range of topics including starting a local group, renter rights, poor conditions and homelessness.
This is our chance to tell parliament that their housing policies need to change, and this can start with a true commitment to finally ending fuel poverty. If you would like to get involved in Rent Freedom Day, you can register here.Back