It’s out! Launched into the world! The briefing I just finished for the Women’s Budget Project and Women’s Environmental Network as part of their awesome Feminist Green New Deal project. It focuses on housing and just how transformative it might be to how we live with each other and how we live in the world. All this under the exciting title Rethinking Housing Supply and Design.
A little teaser.
Housing is fundamental to life, security and wellbeing as well as tackling climate change and working towards a zero-carbon future. It also remains a key site of gender and intersectional inequality, with design that does not accommodate diverse needs or care responsibilities, with mortgages and rents out of reach, and a suburban ideal that requires a car for daily living and can isolate women and children in the home. Housing investment as a central part of a Green New Deal (GND) —with a commitment to full funding from central government to ensure costs are never passed on to residents or local communities— would open up an incredible opportunity to centre a new vision of equality and care capable of transforming both landscapes and lives. It would also acknowledge and begin to address the connections between climate crisis and housing crisis, reducing housing’s contribution to the UK’s carbon footprint even as it reverses the rise of homelessness and houses the estimated 8 million people are in housing need.
This paper offers seven recommendations to achieve a gender inclusive and sustainable housing sector:
1. Participatory planning for the future: centring women and others traditionally marginalised
2. Making internal form and design responsive to care work, gender and diversity
3. Improving the materials and fabric of our buildings
4. Developing gender-, community- and climate-responsive site design
5. Improving connection to town, city and region
6. Expanding who builds, installs and maintains housing to non-traditional workers
7. 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
The Feminist Green New Deal is bringing a gendered and intersectional approach/perspective to the Green economy/Green Recovery – ensuring that the voices of women, people of colour and other marginalised groups are heard during environmental and political debates.
Through a programme of nationwide grassroots workshops and policy roundtables a Feminist Green New Deal Manifesto will be created and launched at COP26 Glasgow Climate Talks.
This Project is a collaboration between Wen (Women’s Environmental Network) and the Women’s Budget Group (WBG).