19 October 2021
England’s homes produce more carbon emissions every year than is produced by all the country’s cars. To reach the national net zero targets by 2050, we must decarbonise all homes in England, including the 2.7 million homes owned by housing associations.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) has launched two new pieces of work to help housing associations achieve this aim – new analysis carried out by Savills of the cost of making the sector’s homes zero carbon, and a guide for housing associations to support their journey to sustainable housing. This briefing provides an overview of both papers and a summary of the partnerships we want to build to make these ambitions a reality
Housing associations have invested in energy efficiency and new heating technology for many years and their homes are on average more energy efficient than any other homes. By 2050 the sector plans to invest £70bn in the fabric, heating systems and components of their existing homes.
Housing associations are uniquely placed to make a central contribution to reaching the country’s carbon reduction goal – they are secure, strongly regulated, not for profit organisations with a deep commitment to the long term sustainability of their homes and communities.
Crucially, the housing association sector also believes that the climate transition must be a just transition and that residents must be at the heart of this work. Decarbonising social homes must improve comfort for residents, tackle fuel poverty, and make heating bills more affordable.
In our new guide for housing associations, the NHF sets out the steps the sector will be taking to reach zero carbon emissions. While the journey to decarbonisation is far from simple, the main interventions are in two key areas:
Housing associations are eager to drive decarbonisation of homes but they cannot do it alone. They must work with residents, the government, industry and society.
Analysis from Savills estimates that decarbonising all existing housing association homes will require at least an additional £36bn of investment on top of the £70bn housing associations already have planned by 2050. Housing associations will not be able to meet this additional cost alone. The sector needs to work closely with the government and industry on how to design, fund and deliver these works over the next three decades.
In the short term, we are calling on the government to: