Admittedly, it may not have been the most talked about government intervention affecting housing this week, but on Thursday (29th September) the second round of funding to help to upgrade the energy efficiency of around 130,000 social homes across the country was announced.
Construction Enquirer reported: “Up to £1.5bn is being made available through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant schemes.
“Social housing providers and local authorities can now submit bids for funding to upgrade the properties of an estimated 130,000 low-income and social households.”
Improving homes’ energy performance
The government released a press release announcing the roll out of the funding, stating: “Today’s funding will see the installation of measures such as external wall and loft insulation, energy efficient doors and windows, heat pumps and solar panels, with multiple measures often being installed in a single home to considerably improve the energy performance.
“Local authorities and social housing providers will be able to submit bids for funding and will deliver upgrades from early next year until March 2025, building on more than 30,000 homes already being upgraded under the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant schemes.”
The cash boost forms part of £12 billion combined funding under the government’s ‘Help to Heat’ schemes, which also include the Local Authority Delivery and Energy Company Obligation schemes, targeting support to lower income and more vulnerable households.
Enabling housing associations to make “significant progress”
Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “The launch of the second wave of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund is hugely welcome. This vital funding will enable housing associations across the country to make significant progress in retrofitting and decarbonising their homes – work that not only cuts carbon emissions but saves residents money on their heating bills.
“We know that England’s homes produce more carbon each year than the average annual use of the country’s cars, so decarbonising social homes has a pivotal role to play in meeting the country’s net zero target.
“The National Housing Federation and our members look forward to continuing to work with BEIS to demonstrate the benefits that decarbonising homes has on residents’ lives.”
Tracy Harrison, Chief Executive, Northern Housing Consortium said: “We welcome the opening of this important funding, which gives the north the opportunity to scale-up social housing retrofit programmes, creating good, skilled, green jobs and helping to tackle fuel poverty in our communities.
“The north is ambitious for this wave – some significant collaborations are under way and councils and housing associations are looking forward to working with BEIS to build on the momentum we’ve already established together.”