Procast working to help harness Scotland’s social housing expertise

23rd November 2023

AN overhaul of the way widescale retrofit projects are delivered in Scotland has been urged by the Chartered Institute of Building in a research paper produced in partnership with Procast.

It says the Scottish government needs to place more trust in the country’s housing associations so that the climate, fuel poverty and homes crises can be tackled more effectively.

The CIOB identifies current barriers to the widespread uptake of retrofit projects within the social housing sector and seeks to identify how to overcome them.

It says these projects are critical to improving and maintaining the quality and energy efficiency of housing stocks and protecting the affordability and comfort of tenants, many of whom represent Scotland’s most vulnerable households.

The paper calls for urgent revisions to energy efficiency funding programmes and says far greater trust has to be placed in HAs to allow them to directly access funding with the flexibility and autonomy needed to use these funds for the greatest benefits of tenants and the wider environment.

A roundtable discussion with representatives from HAs that also included representatives from Procast took place in August 2023 and led to the paper published by the CIOB on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

Significant problems with current funding schemes were highlighted, as were issues with the annual application process, including excessive bureaucracy and compartmentalisation of funding.

However, there was widespread agreement around the table that there are opportunities to overcome these barriers, with clear recommendations for Government coming to the fore.

One recommendation for Holyrood is to look to redesign current programming by combining funding into a central pot, administered over a five-year term, allocated based on need, without parameters on specific use of funds, and with metrics that focus on obtaining the best outcomes for tenants and energy performance.

A summary of the recommendations includes:

  • Allowing for blending of energy-efficiency funding schemes.
  • Overhauling the public funding landscape for retrofit in the social housing sector to optimise accessibility for HAs.
  • The mapping and triage of social housing stock in collaboration with social housing landlords to identify priority need units/areas and strategically allocate funding.
  • Developing a national retrofit delivery and resource plan
  • Establishing a ministerial oversight group on retrofit.

The full report can be read here.


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