Heartwarming Homes is here!

Heartwarming Homes, a brand new FREE toolkit to support you to engage with residents about energy efficiency upgrades has launched.  

The NHC, Placeshapers and Tpas have come together to create a free toolkit to help housing providers change the way they engage and communicate with residents about energy efficiency improvements. 

Developed in partnership with social housing residents and housing professionals, Heartwarming Homes builds on work by the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury and Placeshapers and Tpas research, ‘Residents’ Voices in Net Zero Journey’. 

The Heartwarming Homes toolkit includes research by the Behaviour Change Network. This found that approaches to tackling climate change, in this case having energy efficiency work done on your home, must remove barriers that limit individual action.  

The toolkit includes practical advice, and provides a range of resources, including template letters, videos and a step-by-step communication process. It’s designed to support housing providers to work with residents to overcome barriers to having work done, build trust, and put residents’ needs at the heart of energy efficiency improvement programmes.   

Kathy Thomas, Communications Project Manager (Net Zero) and lead for the Heartwarming Homes project said:  

“We’re really excited to launch this toolkit to support housing providers embarking on energy efficiency projects. Communication and engagement with residents should be an essential part of energy efficiency upgrade project plans. Getting engagement right can increase resident satisfaction and help projects run smoothly.  

“This toolkit will support social landlords at the beginning of their Net Zero journey, so they’re not starting from scratch with communication. It’s also useful for those who have already completed projects to combine with their own learning.  

“It’s fantastic to bring something practical out of two important resident-led research projects: the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury and Residents’ Voices in Net Zero Journey. It’s about the sector working together to overcome common challenges, it’s time to collaborate not duplicate.” 

Stephen Mackenzie, Social Housing Tenant Climate and member of the Heartwarming Homes Tenant Advisory group said: “Many of the Jury recommendations included aspects of communicating and engaging with customers.  

“What NHC, Tpas and PlaceShapers have done is to take the Jury recommendations, clarify these with tenants, and then discuss them with a number of landlords to develop a toolkit from the perspective of both sides.  

“I see Heartwarming Homes as a ‘fluid’ document which will continually evolve as practices, procedures and technology improve. Collaboration between all parties, including tenants, is key to hitting Net Zero 2050.” 

James Temple, a member of the Heartwarming Homes tenant advisory group who was also involved in the Placeshapers and Tpas research, said: “”As a social housing resident, I know first-hand the importance of great professionalism. Heartwarming Homes will really help when interacting with residents.” 

The toolkit was reviewed by residents, housing professionals and other organisations including the Housing Diversity Network, during a ‘Test and Learn phase’. It received excellent feedback and recommendations, such as adding more terms to the jargon buster, were incorporated into the project.  

If you’d like to find out how to get the most from the toolkit you can sign up to a FREE webinar on 9th October.  It’ll be a chance to ask any questions you may have. The panel will include:  

Dominic Ridley-Moy: Founder of the Behaviour Change Network: How Behaviour Change theory can help you engage residents in energy efficiency projects.  

Helen Ball: Senior Sustainability Manager at Broadacres Housing: Practical ways to support residents with energy efficiency upgrades.  

Kathy Thomas: Heartwarming Homes Project Lead: Key learning from the Heartwarming Homes toolkit.  

Terry Tasker: Member of Heartwarming Homes Tenant Advisory Group and Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury: What matters most to residents.  

You can book your place by visiting My NHC 

Heartwarming Homes is the latest in a series of initiatives by NHC to support members to deliver Net Zero by 2050. Building on findings from the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury there are a range of useful resources and campaigns including:  

Real Homes, Real Change 

In June, NHC launched a showcase of case studies in the House of Commons. illustrating the fantastic work members are doing to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes. The case studies include examples of good practice and some useful lessons learnt.  

Self Assessment Retrofit Checklist  

This checklist is designed to make the recommendations of the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury a reality. It’s a simple way to help organisations make sure their sustainability programmes meet the needs of tenants and communities.