Landlords cautious over carbon targets
A third of social landlords believe they are unlikely to meet national targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2050, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Housing.
In its quarterly ‘housing panel’ survey of 280 housing professionals the CIH revealed that 25 per cent thought it unlikely they would be able to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent based on 1990 levels by 2050 – and a further 8 per cent said they definitely would fail to meet the government target.
Only 23 per cent said they were confident they would get close or fully achieve the legally binding carbon reductions.
Respondents called for more government funding, more information on targets, more information on good practices when retrofitting, increased lobbying of the government, reinstating of the feed-in tariff as well as greater education among tenants to help them meet the targets set.
According to the survey, only 10 per cent of social landlords believed that fewer than five per cent of their tenants were in fuel poverty, with a fifth estimating that more than a quarter of their residents could be in fuel poverty. Almost a third - 29 per cent – did not know how many of their tenants were in fuel poverty.
The report also highlighted many in the sector’s concerns about welfare reforms, with three quarters of respondents agreeing that social tenants penalised for occupying a home larger than they need will be worst hit by housing benefit reductions.
Almost two thirds - 59 per cent - also raised concerns about the impact of welfare reforms on tenants who have adult children or older family members living with them, this group will face reductions of around 30 per cent in housing benefit until 2013.
Karen Armitage, chief executive of Stafford and Rural Homes, said: ‘It is important to remember that statistics on household income decreasing, debt in creasing, youth unemployment, increases in fuel prices, fuel poverty, homelessness, under occupation rules are not just numbers they are impacts on real people and their lives. People struggling in a very difficult climate. This is not just about the numbers.’
The report added that the number of people looking for social housing has increased in the last three months, according to 60 per cent of respondents, this compared to only 56 per cent in a previous survey published in September 2011. 42 per cent said the number of people registered as homeless had increased in the same period.
Abigail Davies, assistant director of policy and practice at the CIH, said: ‘Current supply is less than half the house building needed to meet new demand, quite apart from dealing with the current backlog. We need a house-building programme sufficient to the size and scale of the current problem just to keep up, let alone prepare for future generational need.’