September 15 marked Scottish Housing Day, and this year the focus was on highlighting the climate emergency and the positive steps we can take in the sector to help to address this global issue.
Our scrutiny group, Resident VOICES, got together in person for the first time in eighteen months to mark the occasion. The group works together to help to improve the services we offer and the main objective for the first in-person meeting was to choose a new scrutiny topic, with climate change a subject at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Conversations around building energy-efficient properties, solar power, recycling and battery-powered homes made for a highly topical meeting. It became clear that everyone was passionate about the issue and so it was the obvious choice for the group’s upcoming scrutiny topic.
Chairman of Resident VOICES, John Bell said, ‘We are proud to be tackling this very serious issue. Climate change is something we all want to learn more about so we can do our bit to help improve upon existing practices and hopefully introduce some new ideas within Fife Housing Group. The climate emergency is an issue that people around the globe are talking about and taking positive steps to address. We are delighted that we can do our bit to help’.
Several Fife Housing Group colleagues have already undergone climate emergency training, receiving certification from the Carbon Literacy Trust, and the organisation is just about to break ground on the development of Gold Standard energy-efficient homes in Kirkcaldy. However, having undergone the climate emergency training herself, Chief Executive, Nicki Donaldson, is keen to look at ways they could do more, ‘With the upcoming United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow and hopefully the worst of Covid-19 behind us, this is the time to refocus on our green agenda and take further action to reduce our carbon footprint. I am delighted that our Resident VOICES group will be exploring this topic in the coming months and am sure that the information they gather will be instrumental in helping us shape our overall strategic plan’.
We are also already working towards meeting the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) post-2020 guidance set by the Scottish government. This guidance encourages landlords to improve the energy efficiency of social housing and will help remove poor energy efficiency as a contributor to fuel poverty. The EESSH guidance will also contribute to the requirements of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2019 which has set an ambitious target to reduce Scotland’s emissions of all greenhouse gases to net-zero by 2045.
Our Resident VOICES members are a friendly, approachable and committed group of tenants and local residents who are keen to play a part in shaping the services that we offer. If you feel this is something you would like to get involved with, please get in touch with our Engagement Officer, Helen Miller, on 01383 608127 or via firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.