A busy summer for social housing

Posted on 1 August 2022
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A busy summer for social housing

Although we can’t ignore the revolving door at Conservative HQ, we can choose to focus on more affirming news instead. Social and affordable housing providers are committed to improving communities, whether that’s through new housing, the retrofitting of energy efficient measures in existing homes or by looking at a more holistic approach. Here’s what’s been happening in social housing this summer.

Summer is the season for cricket and one housing association may be responsible for a new crop of spin bowlers and top batsmen. VIVID Plus, the charitable arm of housing association VIVID, has teamed up with Hampshire Cricket Board to deliver free, accessible weekly cricket training to 12-25-year-olds in deprived areas of Hampshire.

Together, the organisations will deliver an Urban Cricket strategy designed to engage young people in regular sport and physical activity, while the sessions can be deployed as an early intervention tactic to help reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour. The first cricket sessions will take place at VIVID’s Howard Road Community Centre from July.

Among the comings and goings in the Government, you may have missed news about Wave 2 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund. Although the second wave is expected to open to applicants in late August/early September, the Government is urging registered providers of social housing who want to improve the energy performance of their social homes to prepare their applications now.

Future applicants will be able to follow in the footsteps of the City of York, whose Retrofit Action Plan is moving forwards thanks to funding secured in Wave 1. Eco improvements to 28 council homes are already underway, with measures to improve long-term thermal performance, reduce heating demand, deliver fuel cost savings and improve comfort levels. The council hopes to secure further funding in Wave 2.

New funding is also behind the prospect of new low-rent housing at Rugby Council’s Biart Place development. A £6.8million grant from Homes England’s Affordable Homes Programme has allowed the scheme to become a 100% social housing site, with a further £2million awarded to the project by Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership via the Government’s Getting Building Fund (GBF). A planning application for the new collection of low carbon, low rent homes will be submitted this autumn.

A green agenda is also taking top priority at Together Housing – the owner and manager of more than 37,000 homes for rent, shared ownership and sale across the North of England. It used Net Zero Week earlier in July as a springboard for its ‘Go Green Together’ programme, which aims to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon impacts by 2030.

Work on Together Housing’s existing property portfolio will include tackling heat loss with better insulation and draught-proofing, fitting solar panels and installing either air or ground source heat pumps.

Viewber is proud of the role it is playing in the creation, letting, management and monitoring of the UK’s social housing stock – see more here. Our Viewbers have been tasked with showing tenants around new properties, have enabled access for trades and have provided social landlords with detailed property reports on assets, firedoors and the like. If you would like assistance with property visits and viewings, please contact us today.

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