Warm homes and a safe environment: how government and the housing sector can work together to tackle climate change

Orbit and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) make the case for change, as governments across the UK decide how to boost investment after the COVID-19 crisis.

Orbit launched a joint report with the CIH on Tuesday 8th September, outlining how the government and the housing sector can work together to tackle climate change and work towards achieving ambitious government targets to reduce carbon emissions.

In this new joint briefing ‘Warm homes and a safe environment,’ the two organisations highlight how the housing sector needs to lead the drive to tackle climate change and achieve the targets the government has adopted to reduce carbon emissions and which it has put into law.

The briefing sets out:

  • Why we need to act now and what the government should do to make sure its targets can be met
  • What it means to achieve zero carbon homes
  • The vital contribution needed from social landlords

The briefing argues that it is not only urgent that action is taken now, but that doing so should be a key part of any economic stimulus after the COVID-19 pandemic. Generating a huge programme to improve the energy efficiency of the housing stock has the potential to generate thousands of jobs across the UK.

Mark Hoyland, Orbit Group Chief Executive said: “Tackling climate change is probably the biggest challenge the world faces. UK social landlords have a fundamental role to play in reducing the environmental impact that arises from building and maintaining homes. To do this takes strong partnerships with government, the supply chain, residents and funders.”

Gavin Smart, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing added: “We have a duty to do what we can, together with government, to lower our carbon emissions through building new homes and retrofitting our existing housing stock. Not only is this good for the planet but creating more energy efficient housing is good for residents’ health and their finances.

“Creating a greener country is also an excellent way to boost our economy, making sure Homes are at the Heart of recovery from the pandemic. Together with a coalition of partners and over 60 supporting organisations, we’re calling for a once-in-a-generation investment in social housing. As the government has set a target to get all homes to a decent standard of energy efficiency by 2035, there is no time to lose.”

This new joint briefing ‘Warm homes and a safe environment’ is the first part of a two-stage project. Orbit and the CIH are working on a further, more detailed guide for social landlords to be published next year.