Homes Matter Proposes Government Establishes a National Housing Bank

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Homes Matter has proposed that Northern Rock be converted into a National Housing Bank (NHB) to help deliver Government's energy efficiency and home buying reform objectives.

Homes Matter (http://www.homesmatter.co.uk) has proposed that Northern Rock be converted into a National Housing Bank (NHB) with a remit to support Government's Heat and Energy Savings Strategy and the E - Homebuying Forum's blueprint for modernising the home selling and buying process.

Under the terms of a proposal sent to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and the Minister for Housing, NHB would provide low cost, 'pay as you save energy' loans to incentivise homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes on a 'whole house' basis. Working with partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors, NHB would also arrange energy savings advice and installation plus conveyancing, estate agency, home information pack, chain matrix and electronic funds transfer services to make the home selling and buying process, cheaper, quicker and greener.

Nigel Farren, founder of Homes Matter says" Government's energy efficiency and home buying reform objectives are closely linked and delivering them is a huge and complex task. It requires unprecedented cooperation between local authorities, central government and many different industries to reduce property transaction costs and persuade homeowners to implement Energy Performance Certificate, Home Energy Audit and Home Condition Report recommendations and adopt low carbon lifestyles.

It also requires a massive scaling up of effort. Government's planned Community Energy Savings Programme will only improve 90,000 homes so financial incentives are crucial if we are to get the majority of homeowners to act. Unlike reductions in stamp duty or council tax, low cost loans and estate agency services from commercial organisations would not affect the Treasury's coffers so following Government's acquisition of controlling stakes in three banks, it appears to me that one of the best ways to achieve critical mass would be for Government to use its position to insist that one or more of these banks helps deliver it's energy efficiency and homebuying objectives".

Nigel Farren concludes "Northern Rock has a long history of helping homeowners but urgently needs to regain their trust. In the middle of a recession with property values falling and the cost of home information packs about to increase, what better way can there be than to help homeowners improve the value / saleability of their homes, lower energy bills and reduce moving costs? In so doing, Northern Rock would attract new customers, provide industry leadership, help combat climate change, facilitate home buying reform and foster job creation through increasing demand for energy efficiency measures. The Northern Rock brand name would be revitalised and become increasingly attractive to potential investors as market conditions improve thereby creating value for the taxpayer as shareholders. All it requires is Government vision and the political will to make it happen"

Notes to Editors:

Homes Matter plans to provide the UK's first one-stop shop for energy efficiency and home buying related services. Working with partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors, it will help homeowners install energy savings measures that increase the value of their homes, lower energy bills and carbon emissions and provide low cost estate agency related services to homeowners who 'green' their homes, prior to sale or rent.

For further information, please contact:

Nigel Farren
Founder, Homes Matter
Phone: 01727 857487 / 07531 591739
Website: http://www.homesmatter.co.uk

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