Housing Online are proud to support Scottish Housing Day, which is back for the seventh consecutive year and will take place on 14 September 2022, focusing on Sustainable Housing. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the challenges and successes in the housing sector and to raise people’s awareness of their housing options.
"Energy efficiency is king and social housing in Scotland is really taking the lead here: the affordable housing provided by Housing Associations and co-operatives in Scotland is some of the most energy-efficient housing stock in Scotland "
As we enter an unprecedented cost of living crisis, there has rarely been a more appropriate time to focus on sustainable housing. The Scottish Government is due to develop a new housing standard during this Parliament with the stated aim that “Everyone living in Scotland is entitled to a warm, comfortable and safe place to live”.
It is not even a year since the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow saw a climate pact signed that sought to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Since then, we have seen the devastating impacts of climate change around the world: record temperatures, wildfires raging out of control, terrible floods killing thousands and making millions of people homeless, news that the irreversibly melting ice caps will raise the global sea levels to dangerous levels that will threaten millions more people. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine is threatening the supply of gas to Europe and millions face a cold, hungry winter. Our politicians seem to be turning away from alternative energy and looking instead to increasing our reliance on oil and fracking for short term gain. It seems to be bad news wherever you look.
What difference can housing really make?
Well, actually, quite a lot. We have to start somewhere and it’s a lot better to do something positive than to do nothing at all. Homes produce an astonishing 13% of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing this is a small but significant step towards limiting these emissions. The Scottish Government plans to have net zero carbon emissions by 2045; fossil fuel boilers are due to be phased out in Scotland from 2025 in off-grid areas and from 2030 everywhere else. Support for fossil fuel systems has already been phased out from Scottish Government programmes. Energy efficiency is king and social housing in Scotland is really taking the lead here: the affordable housing provided by Housing Associations and co-operatives in Scotland is some of the most energy-efficient housing stock in Scotland. 42% of Scotland’s owner occupied homes have an EPC efficiency rating of C or above, 40% in the private rented sector, but a much more impressive 56% in the social rented sector. Lower social sector rents help to reduce poverty and building warm, energy-efficient homes improves people’s health and wellbeing.
We can do more, of course. If we want to prevent a global climate catastrophe, we simply have to do more. But, as we celebrate Scottish Housing Day this year, we should salute the efforts that Social Landlords are making to be at the forefront of the changes we all need to make. There are complex problems with no easy answers, but at Housing Online, we are proud to support the work of the Social Landlords and Housing Associations around Scotland who have dedicated themselves to trying to make a difference.
We look forward to continuing to work with you to help ensure that everyone in Scotland has access to a warm, comfortable and - above all - sustainable place to live.
About Housing Online
Housing Online design and build digital solutions for Housing Associations across the UK and beyond. Our My Home Tenant Portal is live in 25 organisations across Scotland, Northern Ireland and England, many with fully integrated websites designed and developed by our team. In April 2021, in collaboration with seven Scottish Housing Associations, we successfully launched These Homes, a Choice Based Lettings web solution. In the first six months of operation, These Homes had more than 12,000 registered households, 1,572 homes advertised and 715 applicants who had received the keys to their new properties. Our applicants have scored the service an average satisfaction score of 8.2/10.