Social housing sector needs guidance to meet sustainability targets

The social housing sector is running out of time to meet its sustainability targets, warn industry experts. 

In a survey conducted by Wienenerberger on 150 decision-makers who are involved in the specification of building materials, 88% agreed that the sector cannot afford to wait for the pending Decarbonisation Fund and Decent Homes Standard.

The survey explored several key issues facing the social housing sector, including the housing shortage, sustainability and building quality.

It found that the sector is in desperate need of support and guidance if it is to overcome these challenges.

Clear guidance was expected to be included in the Social Housing Whitepaper which was released late last year, but according to the survey it failed to clarify a number of key details the sector was waiting on.

When asked when the sector would need this guidance by, a quarter said that it was too late.

26% said that they believe there is still time, but only if the government provides further guidance in the first half of this year.

Not only must the UK build more sustainably, but it also needs to increase the rate at which new homes are built to reach the government’s target of 300,000 new homes by 2025. 56% of housing association directors said that, like with sustainability, significantly more guidance and support is required from the government if it’s to meet this target.

Nick Gornall, head of development at Great Places Housing Group, commented on the results of the survey: ‘The industry has no guidance on the standard of products that will be required to meet the targets, so we don’t know if the housing stock we’re building or the changes we’re making to existing stock will be good enough to meet the sustainability standards.’

Phil Pemberton, director of Asset Strategy and Delivery at Riverside, added: ‘The industry has time; it just needs a strategic plan for how to get there. There’s a responsibility from the sector as well as the government about achieving the target.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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Pippa Neill

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