Housing sector urged to show leadership on climate change

22 June 2007
Housing sector urged to show leadership on climate change

Groundwork has called for the housing sector to recognise the leading role it can play in tackling climate change.

In a speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing conference, Groundwork’s Chairman Stevie Spring has highlighted the social and economic case for embedding climate change into the priorities of social landlords, local authorities and developers.

Read Stevie Spring’s speech to Chartered Institute of Housing conference.

The industry was told that in addition to the environmental imperative, tackling climate change was also important for social and economic reasons.� The sector should even view it as an opportunity to engage tenants and residents in making decisions about service provisions.

Stevie said, “The housing industry is in a key position to demonstrate real leadership by integrating climate change into the way we transform the fortunes of severely deprived neighbourhoods.”

A range of opportunities were illustrated including offering advice on� the environmental performance of an individual’s home and supporting� basic improvement activities, to involving local unemployed people in the refurbishment of properties to Eco-homes standard.

“Examples like these not only help bridge the gap between deprived areas and the rest but they also promote local money-flows that are absolutely vital to developing a truly sustainable economic base,” Stevie continued.

“Groundwork’s work with residents associations and tenant management organisations has shown that more people can be encouraged to become climate change champions and take that learning back into their homes, families and social networks if they are involved in the decision making process.”

Maximising green space potential also has a part to play, added Stevie. “As major landowners the housing industry has a responsibility to provide high quality green space as well as high quality homes.

“The potential for well-designed and well-maintained green space to mitigate against the worst effects of climate change – particularly in high density urban areas – is starting to be appreciated.

“The long term aim has to be connecting carbon reduction to the way we deliver education, promote skills or drive forward regeneration in our communities.”

Media enquiries to Daisy Powell at Groundwork UK on 0121 237 5816, 07703 535841 or e-mail daisy.powell@groundwork.org.uk

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