Karbon residents have joined up with other social housing residents from across the North of England to publish new advice on tackling climate change.
Taking part in a first of its kind Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury, 30 social housing tenants came together to discuss how climate change impacts their lives. From it a report has been launched by the Northern Housing Consortium, containing recommendations on how tenants, social housing providers, and others could work together to tackle climate change in their homes and neighbourhoods.
Read the full report here
Phil Thornton from Blyth, a Karbon Homes customer who took part in the jury, said: "When I first got the letter I thought, I don't know much about climate change, but I applied to take part. Fortunately, I was one of the ones that was picked and it was an education for me. I came into this with an open mind.
"From the very start, Shared Future encouraged us to think for ourselves and to share our experiences. As someone who didn't know much about the subject matter, I've had my eyes opened. Shared Future did an amazing job and I feel privileged to be a part of it. It was absolutely amazing and I want to thank everyone involved."
Homes account for around one-quarter of the North’s carbon emissions. To meet the challenge of reaching net zero carbon emissions, over one million social rented sector homes across the North will require retrofit measures, and the sector is likely to be a retrofit early adopter.
The percentage of carbon emissions coming from homes is even higher in the North East at 27%, and retrofit works will be required to the vast majority of the 284,000 council and housing association homes.
The jury's top ten most popular recommendations are summed up in one or two sentences*:
- There is a need to take into account the urgency of the issue of climate change, and installation programmes need to be quicker.
- Housing associations need to work with contractors to ensure work is completed to the highest standard. An independent person or body to be appointed as a point of contact for tenants, to provide oversight to work, to hold parties to account & mediate any issues.
- Because retrofit could be very disruptive, tenants need to have clear and timely information about timescales and cost.
- The best quality of technology should be used.
- Housing associations need to ensure good communication with tenants before, throughout and after any work carried out.
- Housing Associations should collaborate with each other and Local Authorities, and other agencies.
- Raise awareness with everyone in our communities about how we can tackle climate change through a range of communication channels. Communication must use clear, accessible language at all times.
- People in care homes, older and vulnerable people should be made aware of what is happening. Good, clear information should be provided in a format they can understand.
- Housing Associations should employ a local dedicated person to work with the community to open the community centres and develop the green spaces -ensuring that people are more informed about the spaces, having a more connected approach and access to the facilities.
- The housing associations should be proactive in training and employing their own skilled workforce necessary to complete the work within timescales by 2050 and to allow for any repairs and replacements.
Many authorities, agencies, and organisations worldwide have started to recognise the importance of involving members of the public in helping make important and difficult climate decisions. Consisting entirely of tenants living in social housing in the North of England, the Jury places their voice at the heart of the sectors work in tackling climate change.
Read the full report here