Smaller housing associations and the road to zero carbon

25 March 2022

In 2021, the National Housing Federation worked with our membership to develop Decarbonisation: a guide for housing associations. This was published in October 2021 alongside a report from Savills about the costs and funding options for the sector. On the same day, the government published their landmark Heat and buildings strategy. The core messages from these three documents apply to all housing associations but decarbonisation and sustainability have additional implications for smaller housing associations.

Smaller housing associations have always had – and will always have – an incredibly important role to play in the provision of housing and many services, including specialist, supported and general needs housing, to community engagement in cities, towns and rural areas alike. Many smaller housing associations operate with a much smaller staff and this can lead to capacity and resourcing implications, particularly when faced with large-scale change such as the decarbonisation of homes.

While smaller housing associations are included in our Sustainability Strategy Group (the national member group that guides our work in this area), as part of our wider work on sustainability, we organised a series of discussions with members of the National Smaller Housing Association Network, as well as a series of task and finish meetings on decarbonisation for smaller members, supported by SHIFT Environment. Through these discussions, we identified common barriers to decarbonisation and have used that information to develop a package of support that we hope will better enable our smaller members to navigate the challenges they face in decarbonising their homes.

This briefing explores the policy context and challenges raised by our smaller members during these conversations, and importantly, outlines the support the National Housing Federation can provide on the road to zero carbon.

Climate Change and Sustainability in Housing 2022

24-25 May 2022

Join peers from across the housing association sector and beyond to define how we can work together to decarbonise our existing homes and ensure that new homes are built to much higher environmental standards.

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