SFHA welcomes committee’s fuel poverty calls but says further ambition is still required
SFHA says further ambition still required to eradicate fuel poverty.
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.”