Agenda item

Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund – grant application

Report of the Cabinet Member Housing and Cabinet Member Climate Emergency


The Cabinet Member Housing introduced the report and summarised the key points. The council had set a challenging target of becoming net carbon zero by 2030, and Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) would play a huge role in helping them achieve that.


The government had made £3.8bn available in total for decarbonisation, and £160m of that would fund Wave 1 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF). If the council’s bid was successful, it would fund up to two thirds of the total project costs. The funding was aimed at ‘fabric first’ measures such as improved insulation to reduce energy demand for eligible homes and improve the home to at least Standard Energy Procedure (SAP) C. He stressed that while other measures would be considered, they must not result in increased energy costs for resident.


The bid was part of a consortium bid with a number of other local authorities and registered social housing providers in the county, and the lead authority would be Stroud District Council. The total budget covering the CBC part of the bid would be approximately £1.26m and would cover fabric first improvements for 50 to 60 CBC homes. The grant needed to fund this project was estimated to be around £780k, with CBC funding the remainder of around £480k through its HRA. £200k of funding from the 2021/22 HRA capital budget programme was specifically allocated to support carbon reduction measures, although the remainder was currently unallocated and would need to be included either by viring budget from elsewhere in the 2021/22 HRA capital budget or it being included as part of the HRA capital budget programme for 2022/23. The bid aligned with both CBH’s Climate Action Plan and the council’s corporate plan and target of net carbon zero by 2030.


The Cabinet Member Climate Emergency added that this kind of work would make an immediate and significant difference to people’s lives, with consequences including both lower energy costs and health benefits. The ‘fabric first’ approach was key and this formed a suitable first step on the way to making thousands more council-owned homes carbon neutral. He hoped that the government would continue to make more resources available to local authorities to help them deliver on their carbon neutral agendas, improving energy efficiency and lowering bills for residents.


The Cabinet Member Safety and Communities praised the report and asked who exactly would do the work, should the funding be made available. Would local young people have access to training and employment related to the decarbonisation bid? This was a valuable opportunity that might not always be available. The Cabinet Member Housing agreed that this was a good point, but not one that fell within the criteria of the bid. He was happy to discuss it outside of the meeting and consider ways it could be factored into future bids.


The Leader moved to the vote, where it was unanimously:


1.    The inclusion of CBC in the consortium bid to be submitted by Stroud District Council for grant funding under the SHDF Wave 1 be agreed;

2.    Authority be delegated to the Lead Commissioner – Housing Services, in consultation with Cabinet Members for Housing and for Climate Emergency, to accept the said grant funding offer, if the bid is successful, and to enter into any agreements or documentation as necessary;

3.    Authority be delegated to the Lead Commissioner – Housing Services to enter into a partnership agreement with Stroud District Council, if the bid is successful.

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