28 July 2009< Back to news index
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has today announced that 46 areas of the country will share a fund of up to £84m to help insulate social homes – reducing fuel bills for tenants and cutting carbon emissions.
The Social Housing Energy Saving Programme (SHESP), first announced in April’s 2009 Budget, will provide cavity wall insulation for thousands of homes. The initiative forms part of the government’s Housing Stimulus Package.
The funding, payable over two years, is expected to insulate up to 110,000 difficult-to-fill homes. It is anticipated that works will start this summer.
The majority of the SHESP funding will be allocated to London-based social housing providers, due to the capital’s housing stock having a higher proportion of flats than the rest of the country.
In total, 50 bids were received from a range of social landlords – including local authorities (14 bids), Registered Social Landlords (16 bids) and Arms Length Management Organisations (20 bids). Of these, 46 were successful.
The funding made available will achieve a number of aims:
Commenting on SHESP, Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the HCA, welcomed the outcome: “We are very pleased with the response; the quality of the bids was extremely high. Despite the quick turnaround time required for submission of the bids, we had a very strong response from social landlords. Housing is responsible for more than a quarter of carbon emissions, and this funding has come at a time when the need to tackle climate change has never been greater.”
The funding will therefore not only be a welcome boost to improving insulation in existing social housing stock, but will also provide an employment boost to the cavity wall insulation industry. The programme also contributes to the HCA’s commitment to reducing energy emissions in homes. At the same time, tenants will be able to significantly reduce their energy bills.”
Housing Minister John Healey said: “This multi-million pound funding means that thousands of people, often the most vulnerable in society, will get better insulated homes that are cheaper to heat.”
“Making all homes more energy efficient is a priority for Government. Homes account for a quarter of our CO2 emissions, and the majority of the homes people will be living in 50 years from now have already been built. So it’s clear we have to make our existing housing stock greener, as well as build new homes to tough standards.”
For further information: HCA press office on 020 7881 1653/1054 or email email@example.com.
SHESP aims to help social landlords insulate hard to treat cavity walls, which would have not normally been filled under the Decent Homes Programme, thereby making more homes much more energy efficient.
The criteria for bids were:
Bids were also considered against the following criteria and weightings:
As a result of April’s Budget the HCA received an additional £400m to unlock developments through Kickstart; £50 million social housing grant to allow local authorities to deliver new social housing (complemented by £50 million capital cover for associated prudential borrowing); up to £80 million to support delivery of the Mortgage Rescue Scheme; £84 million to provide cavity wall insulation in the social sector; £21 million for investment in innovative low-carbon heating systems. This was supplemented by the Prime Minister’s Building Britain’s Future announcement with a further £750 million to be allocated via the HCA’s National Affordable Housing Programme; £660 million to unlock developments through Kickstart; and £250 million to allow local authorities to deliver new social housing.
The Homes and Communities Agency is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England.
Our vision is about creating opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford, in places they want to live and for local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.
This will be achieved by:
The HCA brings together English Partnerships, investment functions of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities, with major delivery programmes of Communities and Local Government.