Salix Homes joins first social housing tenants' jury

10 June, 2021

The Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) has launched a first of its kind Tenants’ Jury to understand how tenants, social housing providers and others can work together to tackle climate change in our homes and neighbourhoods - and Salix Homes is one of just a handful or organisations taking part.

Homes account for around a quarter of the North's carbon emissions. To meet the challenge of climate change, the Northern Housing Consortium estimates over 1 million social rented sector homes across the North will require green upgrades.

However, retrofit is not just about making emissions targets, it is about delivering positive social and climate outcomes to ensure all residents can live in a warm, sustainable home. It is essential residents have a say so that their homes are refurbished according to their needs.

The Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury is a concept adapted from Citizens' Juries and Assemblies, a ‘deliberative democracy’ approach for making decisions. Participants are selected at random to deliberate and seek consensus on a set issue, before producing a set of recommendations for policymakers.

Working with community interest company Shared Future and adapted to focus on the social housing sector, the Tenants' Jury will see a group of 30 tenants recruited from project partners Karbon Homes, Yorkshire Housing, Thirteen Group, Salix Homes, and First Choice Homes Oldham.

The Jury will explore tenants’ views on retrofit, their opinions of specific measures, and their preferences for how these kinds of interventions should be undertaken in their homes and neighbourhoods. They will also have the chance to say what information they need before, during, and after the retrofit process to use low carbon heating technology confidently. The Jury will then produce recommendations for the sector on how best to tackle climate change in existing homes and communities.

As part of the project an Oversight Panel has been set up to provide purpose, ensuring a rigorous process alongside strategic and operational decision making. It includes Lord Best, Matt Harrison, Project Director - Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Jenny Osbourne, Chief Executive, TPAS and representatives from URBED, University of Sheffield, National Energy Action, North of Tyne Combined Authority, Salix Homes, Karbon Homes, Doncaster Council, First Choice Homes Oldham, Thirteen Group, Yorkshire Housing and the Northern Housing Consortium.

Recommendations are expected in the Autumn, and will be launched at the Consortium’s Northern Housing Summit.

Tracy Harrison, chief executive at NHC said: “We want to put tenants at the heart of our work to make homes fit for the 21st century and we know that a positive tenant experience is a core part of successful and sustainable retrofit projects. Social Housing is the perfect sector to lead on this; it is an early adopter of technology, landlords are owners and managers of stock at scale and they have a duty of care towards tenants.”

Find out more about the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury including the recruitment process, the Jury sessions and members of the Oversight Panel on the NHC website.