Why we joined the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury – Partner views

With the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury reaching its halfway point. NHC members and project partners First Choice Homes Oldham, Karbon Homes, Salix Homes, Thirteen Group, and Yorkshire Housing discuss why they got involved, their sustainability journey, and the importance of tenant interaction on climate change.


Paul Fiddaman – Chief Executive, Karbon Homes

“It’s been a real pleasure to get involved in the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury and I’m delighted that a number of our residents are playing their part in this first of its kind approach. Sessions are now well under way and we’ve received lots of positive feedback from residents on the progress that is being made so far.

This Climate Jury is part of what is set to be an exciting yet challenging journey, not just for individual landlords but for the sector as a whole.

Decarbonising our homes is an essential part of tackling climate change and as housing providers we play a vital role in this mission. However, for the work we do to be positive and valued, it’s important that we don’t just steam ahead with what we think is best, but that we work alongside our customers to make sure the solutions we provide meet their needs and aspirations.

The climate jury is a fantastic means of achieving this, keeping the customer at the heart of the work and embedding their voice into how the sector tackles climate change and achieves the net zero target.

I would like to thank the team at the Northern Housing Consortium and Shared Futures for inviting us on this journey with them and I look forward to following the progress of the jury and hearing the final recommendations presented at the NHC Summit later this year.”


Donna Cezair – CEO of First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO)

“This is a very exciting time for our sector. Housing associations have a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of the country’s work to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. By upgrading social homes to be more energy efficient and exploring more sustainable ways of working, we and other RPs can make a significant difference to our tenants and communities now and in the future.”

“At FCHO we are in the early stages of our sustainability journey, but we know that decarbonising homes is crucial for tackling climate change and delivering lots of other important benefits – from helping tenants to save money, reducing fuel poverty and providing quality homes that are fit for the future to boosting the economy and creating jobs too. We are absolutely committed to achieving this and have recently launched our Sustainability Strategy – our roadmap to providing sustainable and affordable homes for our tenants and minimising our environmental impact. We are implementing greener ways of working, including cutting the carbon footprint of our existing and new homes, boosting biodiversity in neighbourhoods, swapping petrol powered machinery for battery operated options, and upgrading our van fleet to more sustainable vehicles among other things. But we know that there’s much more work for us all to do and those who live in our homes must be at the heart of this, which is why the social housing tenants’ jury is so important and why we are so pleased our tenants are involved.

“I am delighted to be working with other RPs across the north of England and to see our tenants and their peers engaged and passionate about sustainability – they can really make a difference. The jurors’ views will not only shape our work here at FCHO and in Oldham, but they will influence policy in the wider housing sector and I’m excited to see the outcomes of their work.”


Sue Sutton – Chief Executive, Salix Homes

“Climate change is amongst the most pressing issues facing the world as we know it and the housing sector has got a huge mountain to climb in order to meet the Government’s Net Zero targets.”

“Here at Salix Homes, we’re passionate about the ‘customer voice’ and truly believe in the importance of listening to our customers, which is why we were so keen to get involved with the Social Housing Tenants Climate Jury, which firmly places residents at the centre of the green home upgrade journey, right from the start.

“We know that delivering green retrofits is not going to be an easy task – and without adequate customer engagement, effective planning, and communications, it’ll be very easy to fail. This is why we’re so proud to have customers who are part of not only the jury, but the Oversight Panel as well.

“The jury represents a new and innovative approach for the social housing sector and we’re incredibly proud to be there at the start of this journey to Net Zero, alongside the other jury partners in the North.

“The outcomes of the jury will inform our own Asset Management and Green Strategies, and as a sector, it’s essential we listen carefully to the recommendations of the jury, consider what it means for our industry, champion their views and ensure we continue to put our customers front and centre of our green journeys.”


Samantha Granger, head of environmental sustainability, Thirteen

“At Thirteen, our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we’re proud to be a part of the first Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury. It’s a fantastic opportunity to work together and gain essential insight from customers across the region.”

“As an organisation, we’re committed to reducing our negative impact on the environment and within the housing sector we all have such an important part to play in tackling climate change together.

“We wanted to be a part of the Tenants’ Climate Jury to not only ensure that our customers had a voice, but because we recognise the value in having a collaborative approach to the whole agenda.

“When we launched Thirteen’s take control campaign, which sets out our ambitions to reduce our carbon footprint and become a much greener organisation, we did this with our customers in mind. Whatever we set out to do will beneficial for them.

“By listening and understanding what our customers tell us will ensure they are on the journey with us. We want to understand how customers feel and what matters to them.”

“Retrofitting homes is a challenge and one which everyone is facing. This is about looking at what needs to be done to deliver sustainable homes which are fit for the future and that are right for our customers.”


Resources are available on the NHC’s website here.

For further details contact Liam Gregson, Member Engagement Manager, NHC



Has lockdown changed our view of what we need from housing-led regeneration

Anna Seddon – Policy and Public Affairs Officer, NHC

Many of us over the last 18 months have built a different relationship with our local area which has led to changed expectations of ‘home’. I know that for me, the pandemic has made it much clearer that I expect ‘home’ to be safe, secure, sustainable, and connected to the wider area. For regeneration schemes to be successful in the future, these renewed expectations for high-quality homes in thriving areas that are resilient to future crises must be accounted for.

The pandemic has spotlighted the condition of our homes and our local areas which presents a golden opportunity to drive improvements in the spaces in which we live. We know that good-quality housing is fundamental to the social, environmental, and economic health of communities; improving the quality of existing homes in the North was central to the Commission on Housing in the North’s recommendations to revitalise places in the region. Housing renewal and wider regeneration schemes must now factor in our changed expectations to maximise potential benefits and ensure no one is left out of accessing these.

With new ways of working becoming more established and an increase in the number of people working from home, local areas have become places of work and leisure. Access to local green spaces, good local services and a warm, safe home have never been more critical. Like many others now without a daily commute, I’m spending more time in the area I live in Newcastle, and appreciating being near a large public park more than I ever have, especially being without private outdoor space. The pandemic has created new demands on local places as we spend more time (and often more cash) within them and it has broadened our ambitions for thriving, sustainable places.

Though post-pandemic planning should not be reduced to the redesigning of places for those who now work at home more often than they used to. ONS data shows that a quarter of workers worked from home at some point in 2019, this figure rose to around a third in 2020. While this increase is significant, homeworkers still only account for a small proportion of working age adults and the figures for some Northern towns were the lowest in England, with as few as 14% of employees in some areas having ever worked from home. Infrastructure to make life easier for those employed in sectors such as healthcare, construction, retail and hospitality must also be at the forefront of planning, such as increasing good, green transport links.

It’s five years since the publication of the Commission for Housing in the North’s report and we have a real opportunity to reshape communities into fairer and greener places for everyone. Underpinning the housing-led renewal of our local areas must be the commitment to a fair transition to a zero-carbon future. Housing’s role in this will be to deliver a neighbourhood-based approach to increase the energy efficiency of homes and manage the shift away from gas boilers to decarbonised heat to reduce emissions and improve housing quality in the North.

Renewing places across the region will also involve working with communities to support local businesses and encourage the spread of consumer spend, develop clean and integrated public transport, and invest in accessible green spaces and walking/cycling paths. This would reduce economic isolation and create more attractive places for mixed, sustainable communities to live.

Understanding and responding to altered expectations of housing will be fundamental to how cities and towns across the North adapt. We know a one-size-fits-all approach to post-Covid regeneration will not be sufficient to address challenges across the North, but a good starting point would be to connect our new relationships with ‘home’ to our response to the climate crisis, ensuring everyone has access to the benefits generated from the transition to net zero.

Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury Progresses Over Summer

Since late July the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury has been meeting, hearing evidence and deliberating together to answer the question ‘How Can Tenants, Landlords, and Others Work Together to Tackle Climate Change in Our Homes and Neighbourhoods’.

Although the Jury’s recommendations, part of a final report detailing their work, will be launched at the Northern Housing Summit in November, NHC members are able to follow the Jury’s progress on the NHC’s dedicated webpage. This includes recorded presentations from invited expert commentators.

Resource Overview

Session 1 – Welcome and Setting the Scene

In Session One the Jury completed the onboarding process with an evening dedicated to getting to know each other and the Shared Future team facilitating the Jury. An overview of the process was given and attendees developed shared principles to ensure the most was made of the Jury.

Tracy Harrison, Chief Executive, Northern Housing Consortium formally opened the Jury with brief remarks as to why the NHC alongside partners First Choice Homes Oldham, Karbon Homes, Salix Homes, Thirteen Group, and Yorkshire Housing, decided to establish the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury.

Session 2 & 3 – An introduction to the science of Climate Change, it’s Causes, and Impacts

Early sessions of the Jury were used to establish a baseline of knowledge around climate change. This began with a presentation by Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, the current Chair and Founding Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London.

Other speakers, including academics and practitioners, spoke to the Jury around the impact of climate change, the various sources of carbon emissions – ranging from energy, industry, agriculture and food, transport, as well as forestry and land use, and the specific contribution housing makes through domestic carbon emissions.

Session 4 & 5 – Housing Retrofit: What does it mean for the Tenant, Landlord, Environment, and Wider Society

From Session 4 the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury, the Jury began to narrow its focus from the wider implications of Climate Change science to housing retrofit and the processes and technology involved.

In addition to offering an overview of the kinds of interventions and renewable heating technologies that may become commonplace, invited commentators were asked to focus on the tangible impacts on tenants lives; visible changes to the home, the size of various types of renewable heating technology and where they are positioned on the property, how long it takes to install and any complications that might arise, and what could be expected in living in a retrofitted home.

In addition to commentators, the Jury also held a series of informal discussions with tenants who have experience of having their home retrofitted to understand the tenant experience first-hand.

Next Steps

The Jury recently met to reflect on their work to date and identify key issues they felt warranted further scrutiny and collate questions they felt remained unanswered. These will form the basis of future sessions as the Jury gradually turn towards developing their recommendations as to how tenants, social housing providers, and others can work together to tackle climate change in our homes and neighbourhoods.

Recordings of invited commentators can be found on the Jury’s dedicated webpage:


The final report and recommendations of the Jury will be launched at the NHC’s flagship Northern Housing Summit taking place the 2nd and 4th November. NHC members can confirm their attendance, and non-members can purchase a ticket to the event via MyNHC: