COP26 | How can we retrofit the country’s housing stock?

Housing associations are facing huge financial outlays to bring their stock in line with changing legislation, but just how are they planning to pay for and implement the necessary changes?

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The social housing sector is putting plans together for retrofitting programmes that could cost hundreds of millions of pounds, but there are concerns about the affordability of new low-carbon technologies, whether tenants will accept them and if the workforce exists to carry out the work.

Meanwhile, more needs to be done to encourage private homeowners – who account for around 60% of all houses in the country – to act to make their homes fit for the future.

In this episode, Laura Dunlop, founder of GLD Technical Consulting, and Sandy Livingstone, executive director of property at Onward Homes, discuss what solutions are available to housing associations and private homeowners alike, and the financial implications of such interventions. 

This episode is part of Place North West’s COP26 podcast series, which looks at sustainability solutions within the property industry ahead of the UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow this November.   

In each episode, guests will share actionable insights and essential, evidence-based advice drawing on lessons learned from their work moving towards net zero carbon.  Listen to more of our COP26 podcasts.   

Don’t miss a single episode. Subscribe to our series on SpotifyApple PodcastsAnchor, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Stay up-to-date on the latest in the property industry by subscribing to our free newsletter, delivered to your inbox just in time for lunch every weekday.  

For more information about GLD, visit 190315 Luma GLD Logo


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Quite apart from the environmental advantages, it’s such an exciting idea that people, especially those on low incomes, could be relieved of the burden of the excessive cost of heating their homes. I do hope the next scheme ensures that low income families who can benefit from the scheme are guaranteed to incurr no costs themselves in the process. There is simply no way that someone on a low income should be expected to fund even a small part of any of the work. Precise costs on a retrofit of any kind are hard to predict and best not be undertaken unless someone has a financial buffer.

By Patricia Cunningham

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