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SFHA welcomes committee’s fuel poverty calls but says further ambition is still required

SFHA says further ambition still required to eradicate fuel poverty. 

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The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has today welcomed a report by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee which is calling for additional measures to be included in the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill but said that further ambition is still required.

Sarah Boyack, SFHA Head of Public Affairs, said:

“We welcome the additional measures that the committee is calling for to be included in the Fuel Poverty Bill. Our members face a particular challenge. While they provide the most energy efficient homes in Scotland, the number of housing association households living in fuel poverty is above the national average due to tenants being on lower incomes. 

“We are particularly pleased to see that the committee is calling for the bill to include a target to reduce extreme fuel poverty and, in the longer-term, an ambition to eradicate fuel poverty.

“We also support the call for the specific challenges that face those living in rural and island communities to be taken account of in the bill, including higher living and travel costs through a separate Minimum Income Standard, as fuel poverty levels can rise to over 50% in these areas.”

Sarah Boyack concluded:

“SFHA will continue to lobby for the bill to show further ambition, and we are calling for funding plans to increase home energy efficiency to be set and a more ambitious target to end fuel poverty by 2032, rather than the current date of 2040.

“However, at present, housing associations face a major issue that stands in the way of them reducing fuel poverty levels among their tenants. Currently, they cannot access Scottish Government funds to reduce fuel poverty and, with their tenants more likely to experience it, it is vital this changes.”

For further information, please contact SFHA Media Adviser Kirsten Walker on t: 0141 567 6221 m: 0788 788 8348 email: kwalker@sfha.co.uk

Visit our website at www.sfha.co.uk

Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SFHA.HousingScotland

Twitter www.twitter.com/sfha_hq

NOTES:

  1. Stage 1 Report on the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy)(Scotland) Bill
  2. www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/12/5401
  3. The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) was established in 1975 and has around 133 members providing affordable housing and wider community services across Scotland, as well as a further 150 commercial associates. The SFHA is owned and governed by its members and exists to lead, represent and support the work of housing associations and co-operatives throughout Scotland.
  4. The SFHA is the voice of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland. SFHA’s 133 members represent 85% of the sector, own and manage 86% of the 247,000+ housing association stock across Scotland. Together, housing associations and co-operatives provide housing for almost 500,000 people, which is one in every 11 households.
  5. Over 15,000 staff are employed by SFHA members across Scotland, 93% of the staff within the sector.
  6. Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies, regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.