Ahead of the Autumn Statement, our members wrote to the Prime Minister to push for the immediate release of the full £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF). However, following the announcements from the Chancellor of the Exchequer today, our chair Derek Horrocks has reacted with disappointment at the lack of any major new announcements regarding decarbonisation of homes of any kind.
He said: “While the Autumn Statement claimed to make the lives of people up and down the country better, the lack focus on the decarbonisation of all housing types is disappointing.
“Decarbonising homes is about so much more than just achieving net zero. While that’s a clear goal, it’s also about supporting millions of people feeling the impact of the biggest crises of our time. The ongoing energy, cost of living and health crises are all worsening and the sooner we get these homes decarbonised, the better.
“A huge amount of momentum has been built in recent years – largely because of the first two waves of Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF). We are pleased to see inclusion within the detailed policy paper of the £6bn to support energy efficiency from 2025 previously announced in the 2022 Autumn Statement, however, we would have liked the government to go much further by bringing forward Wave 3 of this scheme.
Policy consistency is of vital importance to sustainable growth of the supply chain. It’s crucial that current momentum is built on, not stalled – and naturally filters across all housing types, not just social homes. That momentum cannot go to waste – nor can the investment from contractors and housing providers when it comes to time, resource and money funnelled into skills and innovation. There is a need for renewed confidence throughout the supply chain and wider market. And, with this round of funding not yet being allocated, this confidence is needed now more than ever to ensure that all-important decarbonisation at scale does not slow down.
“There was huge opportunity here to place focus on housing decarbonisation and its benefits, including announcing Wave 3 funding as our members’ letter to the Prime Minister advised several weeks ago. Especially with the opportunity to place more focus hot on the heels of the £80m SHDF Wave 2.2 application window opening this week. Although we recognise that substantial funding remains included within future spending projections, it is disappointing to see an opportunity to bring forward funding and improve lives, society and the economy missed.
“Together, our members will continue to champion the vital work happening up and down the country – and maintain our close relationship with the government to achieve collective goals that benefit us all.”