SFHA response to green recovery call for evidence
By Stacey Dingwall, SFHA Policy Lead.
Last week, SFHA submitted a response to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee's (ECCLR) call for evidence on the principles that should underpin a green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
The committee was keen to hear from stakeholders to support the inquiry's objective to identify key actions for change, immediate priorities, potential barriers to implementation and the governance arrangements needed to deliver this.
In our response, we highlighted how much RSLs are already doing to support the delivery of key government environmental objectives through being held to higher standards than other tenures (e.g. EESSH/2). We reiterated the need for additional support from government in this area to enable SFHA members to meet these targets – having already invested significant resources to meet EESSH.
This is key to ensure the sustainability of service delivery – particularly in the face of rising rent arrears as a result of the pandemic.
As a member of the Existing Homes Alliance, we support the call for a doubling of the Energy Efficient Scotland budget in order to increase the impact of schemes, including Warmer Homes Scotland, Home Energy Scotland and the Area-Based Schemes. Again, the pandemic risks pushing people into – or further into – fuel poverty; it will be crucial to commit extra funding in this area as soon, as possible, as we look to the upcoming winter months.
In terms of specific priorities for the upcoming budget, we have called for:
- further commitment of funds to the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. RSLs are already building some of the most energy efficient homes in the country; confidence that funding for this programme will continue is crucial to allow them to plan future developments
- significant additional funding for retrofit of homes, including a separate stream for RSLs to test ways of bringing stock up to EESSH2 standards
- as a minimum, a doubling of the Energy Efficient Scotland budget in order to increase the impact of schemes, including Warmer Homes Scotland, Home Energy Scotland and the Area-Based Schemes, as well as their expansion to include whole house approaches and low carbon heat installations.
Our full reponse is attached as a download to the right of this article.