Our new decarbonisation project is already making an impact

Rory Hughes, 18 May 2021

It has been just over a month since we launched our ambitious new project to support housing associations to decarbonise by 2050. Since then we have been working to establish the infrastructure for the project.

We have been working closely with consultancies SHIFT and Savills on our roadmap to net zero and funding options for our sector. Alongside this, we have been meeting with a range of experts to influence our work, including modellers involved in the Climate Change Committee (CCC)’s Sixth Carbon Budget. As part of their work to boost national and international climate ambitions ahead of COP26, the government has signalled that it will be adopting many of the CCC’s recently toughened recommendations. As a result, we have been paying keen attention to the work of the CCC, including producing a briefing for our members on the Sixth Carbon Budget.

Of course, a huge part of this project is about ensuring you, our members, are consistently shaping the project and its outcomes. We have now established the membership and meeting schedule for the task and finish group, with members from across the housing association sector. During the first meeting the group discussed the purpose of the project, SHIFT and Savills presented on the progress of their work and we thought through some key questions, including how we define net zero across the sector. We will be consulting all members on these very soon.

Thank you to everyone who applied to join the CEO Sustainability Strategy Group. Membership has now been confirmed. In the meantime we have been meeting with members from across the country to draw on your expertise in guiding this work. These include meetings with other networks in our sector including the Greener Futures Partnership, regional and bilateral meetings with members such as Hastoe to discuss their new-build standard.

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) is also gearing up to begin delivery of the first wave of its £3.8bn fund later this year, following on from the Demonstrator programme. At the SHDF Consultative Panel last week we discussed the impact of the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme closing on the fund, the proposed structure of the fund’s waves to 2030, eligibility criteria, success metrics, proposals for match funding and the types of home improvements it could be utilised for. We are currently engaging in further meetings with the government to give feedback on the fund and seek clarification so we can better inform you of the trajectory of the fund. We are also supporting the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with a number of forthcoming webinars, meetings and workshops to ensure you can engage directly with the fund and stay up to date – keep an eye out for more information. 

Alongside this work, we have been meeting with government departments to discuss the forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy and how the government and our sector can work closer together on the net zero challenge.

Finally, the Queen’s Speech set out more information on key government actions regarding climate. We are currently working on a detailed briefing for members on the Queen’s Speech but here are the key housing announcements and our response. The Queen’s Speech included a summary of the ongoing work of the government in the lead up to COP26, including the Heat and Buildings Strategy, as well as a commitment to introduce an Environment Bill. This Bill will introduce a framework for legally binding environmental targets and establish a new, independent Office for Environmental Protection. While it won’t impact directly on the mission to net zero it will introduce measures promising to ‘revolutionise’ approaches to issues such as recycling, air pollution, water scarcity and resilience and biodiversity.

We aim to keep you informed of the progress of the decarbonisation work through these blogs. More information about the project, updates and resources can be found here.

Previous updates

Five key takeaways from the Climate Change and Sustainability in Housing 2021 conference

22 April 2021


Net zero by 2050: a decarbonisation roadmap for housing associations

08 April 2021


As the countdown to COP26 begins, where are housing associations on the journey to net zero?

29 October 2020