A vast swathe of social housing in Plymouth will receive significant energy improvements after the Council were successful in bidding for a government grant.
In all, 725 homes across the city will benefit from more than £7 million of investment from the latest wave of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).
The award is part of £778m of funding across England to ensure thousands of social homes are upgraded to reach an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C-Rating.
Properties will benefit from a range of measures including external wall insulation, cavity insulation and double glazing. Selected properties will also see solar panels and air source heat pumps fitted.
These improvements are anticipated to make meaningful contributions towards reducing energy costs, strengthening Plymouth’s green economy, improving housing quality, regenerating some of our most deprived neighbourhoods, and helping Plymouth reach net zero by 2030.
Building on good work the consortium approach which is currently delivering improvements to 83 homes as part of Wave 1 of SHDF, the Council will once again join forces with trusted partners Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) and LiveWest to deliver these works.
Plymouth City Council will administer the funds whilst PCH and LiveWest will be responsible for delivery of the work to the homes they own and manage in the city, match-funding the grants from their own funds.
PCH is the largest social housing association in Plymouth with 16,000 homes, and will receive £5.6 million in grant funding and contribute a further £8.6 million to ensure 600 of its homes across Plymouth benefit from energy upgrades over the next two years.
LiveWest meanwhile, will retrofit 125 homes, receive £1.5 and contribute a further £1.8 million from their own funds.
It means that between government funding and the money contributed from PCH and LiveWest, over £17.4 million will be committed to the project.
Councillor Rebecca Smith, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, said: “Upgrading these homes to the best energy efficiency will mean to such to so many people and so I’m grateful for the funding we’ve managed to obtain.
“Once again, though, partnership working with friends and colleagues at PCH and LiveWest has been key and helped delivered positive change for the people of Plymouth.”
Councillor James Stoneman, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Governance added: “This announcement is warmly welcomed. A key action of our Climate Emergency Action Plan is to scale up the delivery of projects that reduce emissions, including retrofits to our housing stock.
“Buildings are one of our largest contributors of carbon emissions and therefore this funding will be key to helping the Council reach its 2030 net zero target.”
John Clark, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes, said: “It’s fantastic news we have secured £5.6m of funding in the second wave of the SHDF which we will match-fund ourselves. This will help us to make 600 of our social homes in Plymouth more energy efficient, which will in turn help our tenants to reduce their energy bills and keep their homes warm, dry and comfortable, as well as reducing carbon emissions.
“We are grateful for the support of the council in co-ordinating and securing this funding to enable these vital works to go ahead.”
Suzanne Brown, Executive Director of Operations for LiveWest, said: “LiveWest is delighted to be part of Plymouth City Council’s successful bid for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Wave 2. This funding will enable us continue working with our consortium partners and expand on our valuable SHDF Wave 1 investment in neighbourhoods such as Barne Barton, where Wave 1 delivery is well underway.
“Over the next two years The SHDF, alongside our own LiveWest investment, will help us undertake a range of building improvement works to a further 125 homes across Plymouth.
“Not only will this investment benefit our customer’s with more efficient homes, but we welcome the opportunity to continue to work with our partners to progress the growth of Green Skills in Plymouth and across the region as a whole.
“Sustainable homes, neighbourhoods and communities are at the heart of our commitment to deliver a home for everyone. SHDF funding helps us to reduce our carbon footprint and increase the energy efficiency of our homes, thereby reducing running costs for our customers.”