7,500 social housing tenants from across the North will this week be invited to register their interest in taking part in a first of its kind engagement exercise. Of those eager to take part, a final ‘Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury’ of 30 residents will be tasked with developing recommendations as to how they, along with social housing providers and others, can work together to tackle climate change in our homes and neighbourhoods.
Launched by the Northern Housing Consortium alongside partners First Choice Homes Oldham, Karbon Homes, Salix Homes, Thirteen Group, and Yorkshire Housing, the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury is a concept adapted from Citizens’ Juries and Assemblies, a ‘deliberative democracy’ approach for making decisions. Participants are selected at random to deliberate and seek consensus on a set issue, before producing a set of recommendations for policymakers.
In recent years Citizens’ Juries have become a popular way to include the public on the question of how best to tackle climate change. 2020 saw the House of Commons convene the national ‘Climate Assembly UK’ where 108 people from all walks of life met for six weeks to answer the question “how should the UK meet its target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050?”. At a local level Climate Juries have been held in Leeds, Sheffield, Oxford, Cambridge, Devon, Kendal, and seven London Boroughs.
Working with community interest company Shared Future and adapted to focus on the social housing sector the Jury, made up of tenants recruited from each partner Housing Association, will explore tenants’ views on retrofit, their opinions of specific measures, and their preferences for how these kinds of interventions should be undertaken in their homes and neighbourhoods. They will also have the chance to say what information they need before, during, and after the retrofit process to use low carbon heating technology confidently.
As part of the project an Oversight Panel has been set up to provide purpose, build legitimacy and ensure a rigorous process whereby the Jury is informed by balanced and accurate information. The Panel brings together a range of stakeholders with project partners being joined by experts representing national, regional and local governance, the civil service, the tenant voice agenda, retrofit practitioners, academia, and the charitable sector. Importantly, all Oversight Panel members are in a position to reflect on the outcomes of the Jury and how they relate to their own areas of work.
The findings of the Jury will be presented at the Northern Housing Summit on the 2nd and 4th of November.
For more information on the Social Housing Tenants’ Jury, including the Oversight Panel, please visit the Northern Housing Consortium’s dedicated webpage: