Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury – Jury Sessions

The Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) and partners First Choice Homes Oldham, Karbon Homes, Salix Homes, Thirteen Group, and Yorkshire Housing have launched a first of its kind Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury to understand how tenants, social housing providers and others can work together to tackle climate change in our homes and neighbourhoods.

The Jury brings together a representative and inclusive group of social housing tenants to learn from and question invited experts, undertake personal and group reflection, where possible reach consensus, and deliver a mandate for action that can be taken up by the sector at large.

Through this process, the Jury will share their views on how they, as social housing residents, feel we should answer the question:

“How should tenants, social housing providers, and others

work together to tackle climate change in our homes and neighbourhoods”

The presentations given by expert commentators invited to give evidence to the Jury can be found below.

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 – An initial introduction to the science and impacts of Climate Change

Session 2 of the Jury was opened by the esteemed Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, the current Chair and Founding Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London. Professor Hoskins was joined by Dr Stephen Blenkinsop, Senior Researcher in Climate and Climate Change at the School of Engineering at Newcastle University.


What is Climate Change?

Sir Brian Hoskins, Chair and Founding Director, The Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London

What are the Impacts of Climate Change Globally and in North of England?

Dr Stephen Blenkinsop, Senior Researcher in Climate and Climate Change, School of Engineering, Newcastle University

Session 3 – The Main Areas of Human Activity that Contribute to Climate Change

With a grounding in Climate Change science taken from previous sessions, Session 3 of the Jury took a closer look the various areas of human activity that contribute to carbon emissions. David Barns from the School of Chemical and Process Engineering guided attendees through different sectors ranging from energy, industry, agriculture and food, transport, as well as forestry and land use. Julie Godfrey at the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers built on David’s talk with a presentation covering the specific contribution of housing to Climate Change. Finally, Dr Victoria Johnson explored how to make change happen.


Where are the Big Emissions Coming From?

David Barns, School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds

How Housing Contributes to Climate Change

Julie Godefroy, Sustainability Consultant & Technical Manager, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers

How Change Happens at Different Levels for Tackling Climate Change

Dr Victoria Johnson, Principal Consultant, Social Profit Calculator

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

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


An Overview of Retrofit Interventions and Renewable Heating Technology

Dr Clare Hanmer, Research Associate, Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations

Case Study: Improving the Energy Efficiency of Homes

Nicholas Harne, Assistant Director Homes and Neighbourhoods, Hull City Council

Case Study: Installing Renewable Heating Technology – Air Source Heat Pumps

Helen Ball, Sustainability Manager, Broadacres Housing Association

Session 5 – Housing Retrofit: What does it mean for the Tenant, Landlord, Environment, and Wider Society (Part 2)

In Session 5 the Jury continued their closer look at tackling climate change through housing retrofit, including in the specific context of the social housing sector. In addition to invited 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.


Retrofit and the Role of Landlords and Tenants in Tackling Climate Change

Professor Anne Power, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics

What are the ‘Co-Benefits’ of Climate Change Action?

Dr Neil Jennings, Faculty of Natural Sciences, The Grantham Institute for Climate Change

Who Pays? Government Policy and Funding

Chris Burton, Team Leader, Integrated Delivery Team – Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Who Pays? Impact on the Consumer

Matt Copeland, Policy Manager, National Energy Action

Session 6 – Reflecting on the Process to Date & Identifying Priority Themes

Following 4 weeks of commentator-focussed sessions, the Jury used session 6 to reflect on the process to date and identify priority themes. These were topics or speakers the Jury felt would be important to their recommendations and therefore wanted to revisit in further detail and gain answers to any unanswered questions.

The Priority Themes were identified as:

  • Understanding the work already undertaken by social landlords
  • Collaboration in the Social Housing Sector
  • Retrofit and Regeneration
  • Renewable Heating Technology – What are the Alternatives?
  • Impact on Tenants

Session 7 – Landlord QnA & Tackling Climate Change at a Neighbourhood Level


QnA with Partner Landlords 

Representatives from Partner Landlords

Neighbourhoods of the Future

Prof. dr. Maarten Hajer, University of Utrecht

Tackling Climate Change in our Neighbourhoods

John Willerton, Principal Urban Designer, Planit-IE

Session 7 began with a discussion between the Jury and representatives from the partner landlords. The Jury were keen to understand what work, if any, had begun from their landlords around developing environmental / sustainability strategies and the role of retrofit with this. This was so the Jury could have a greater understanding of how their views and recommendations could best help their landlords.

The Jury also heard from two speakers discussing the creation of environmentally sustainable neighbourhoods with case studies from around the world. The presentations covered themes such as urban design, active travel, and community land use.

Session 8 – Collaboration in the Social Housing Sector, Renewable Heating Technology, and the Impact of Retrofit on Tenants


Overview of Retrofitting Housing (technologies, pros and cons of different approaches)

Professor Philip Steadman, Emeritus Professor of Urban Studies and Built Form Studies, University College London

The Impact of Retrofit on Tenants

Aneaka Kellay, Engagement Lead, Carbon Co-op

Collaboration Between Housing Associations

Martyn Broadest, Director of Home, Connect Housing; and Commissioner, Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission

Session 8 began with the Jury returning to learning about renewable heating technology. Having initially focussed on improving the energy efficiency of buildings through external wall insulation, and moving onto renewable heating technology through heat pumps, there was appetite from the Jury to understand the full breadth of options available and importantly, why some options have proven more popular than others.

Aneaka Kellay from Carbon Coop discussed best practice from customer-centric retrofit projects from other tenures. The Jury also learned more about collaboration between social housing providers and other place-based agencies to retrofit homes and address climate change at a local and regional level.

Session 9 – Minister’s Questions

Invited Guest

Lord Callanan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Session 9 was dedicated to drafting the Jury’s recommendations. Before this however the Jury were delighted to welcome Lord Callanan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility. The Jury discussed the work the group had undertaken to date and quizzed the Minister on his role and funding for retrofit.

Session 10 – Finalising Recommendations

 In the final session the Jury worked together to finalise a series of 19 recommendations to the sector as to how to answer the question “how can tenants, social landlords, and others work together to tackle climate change in our homes and neighbourhoods”.

Following this meeting each Jury member was given the opportunity to vote on each recommendation to show the Jury’s strength of support. The recommendations cover the themes:

  • Theme A – recommendations on retrofit technology
  • Theme B – recommendations on costs and managing disruptions to tenants
  • Theme C – education, raising awareness, communications and Housing Association collaboration
  • Theme D – tackling in our neighbourhoods