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Stakeholder engagement in sustainable housing refurbishment in the UK

Stakeholder engagement in sustainable housing refurbishment in the UK

Jones, Keith and Kaluarachchi, Yamuna (2009) Stakeholder engagement in sustainable housing refurbishment in the UK. In: SUEMoT Conference 2009, 2nd International Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment,, 22-24 April 2009, Lougborough. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The UK government is committed to effectively implement a viable sustainable agenda in the social housing sector. To this end housing associations and local authorities are being encouraged to improve the environmental performance of their new and existing homes. Whilst much attention has been focused on new housing (e.g. the Code for Sustainable Homes) little effort has been focussed on improving the 3.9 (approx) million homes maintained and managed by the public sector (in England), which, given the low rate of new build and demolition (<1% in England), will represent approximately 70% of the public housing stock in 2050. Thus, if UK is to achieve sustainable public housing the major effort will have to focus on the existing stock. However, interpreting the sustainability agenda for an existing housing portfolio is not a straight foreword activity. In addition to finding a ‘technical’ solution, landlords also haveto address the socio-economic issues that balance quality of expectations of tenants with the economic realities of funding social housing refurbishment. This paper will report the findings of a qualitative study
(participatory approach) that examined the processes by which a large public landlord sought to develop
a long-term sustainable housing strategy. Through a series of individual meetings and group workshops
the research team identified: committed leadership; attitudes towards technology; social awareness; and
collective understanding of the sustainability agenda as key issues that the organisation needed to address
in developing a robust and defendable refurbishment strategy. The paper concludes that the challenges
faced by the landlord in improving the sustainability of their existing stock are not primarily technical, but
socio-economic. Further, while the economic challenges: initial capital cost; lack of funding; and pay-back
periods can be overcome, if the political will exists, by fiscal measures; the social challenges: health & wellbeing;
poverty; security; space needs; behaviour change; education; and trust; are much more complex in
nature and will require a coordinated approach from all the stakeholders involved in the wider community
if they are to be effectively addressed. The key challenge to public housing landlords is to develop
mechanisms that can identify and interpret the complex nature of the social sustainability agenda in a way
that reflects local aspirations (although the authors believe the factors will exist in all social housing communities, their relative importance is likely to vary between communities) whilst addressing Government
agendas.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: This paper has been published only as an abstract SUE-MoT Conference 2009 2nd International Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment Loughborough, UK 22-24 April 2009 Conference Abstracts ISBN-13 978 0 947974 80 0 - Lougborough University, 2009 JA 11/03/10
Uncontrolled Keywords: public housing, stakeholder engagement, stakeholder participation, stakeholders, sustainable housing,
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Architecture, Design & Construction > Sustainable Buildings Research Group
School of Architecture, Design & Construction
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:05
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/1823

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