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.