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Places for People in consortia with Paradigm Housing and Reading Borough Council receive £1.7million of funding to support decarbonisation of homes

Places For People Preston Office (1)

In a new collaborative project Places for People, Paradigm Housing and Reading Borough Council have been awarded £1.7million from the UK Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).  

This comes as part of our commitment to improving the energy efficiency and affordability of homes. The funding will be used to support the decarbonisation of 256 homes across Huntingdon, High Wycombe and Reading by increasing the EPC rating of these homes to a C. Some homes will see improvements to cavity wall insulation, new heating systems and windows and doors. 

We understand the difference that having an energy efficient homes can make to our Customers, that’s why our application was based on data using the latest technology, to ensure Customers will have more cost-efficient and warmer homes to live in with some being able to see a drop in their energy bills to over £1,000 per year. In Huntingdon, Places for People will be looking to increase the energy efficiency of over 160 homes. 

As well as providing benefits to our Customers, along with our partners and supply chain, we have pledged to to creating new jobs and work experience opportunities, across the Communities we’re working in. In total, the consortium will create 15 jobs, 3 apprenticeships and 8 working experience placements as well as school engagement, career advice, mentoring and training. A further £10,000 will be invested into the local community centre in High Wycombe and donations will be made to local food banks. 

Customers within the Community will also have access to an energy advice service and sessions focusing on how to tackle fuel poverty. 

Tim Weightman, Chief Investment Officer at Places for People, said: “We believe in transforming affordable housing to give people a better quality of life and to reduce our carbon footprint. That’s why Places for People, Reading DC, and Paradigm Housing will bring together a shared ambition to improve Communities by ensuring homes are comfortable and affordable to live in. 

“An energy-efficient home can be life-changing. Reduced bills in the current economic climate can help prevent choices such as food over warmth, which is why this bid focuses on improving the fabric performance, and heating systems of our Customers’ homes. 

“With robust asset data, clear delivery plans, and experienced supply chain partners, we are confident this project will improve the homes, and Customers’ well-being and deliver wider social value to the Communities we serve. 

“Not only does this approach deliver the best outcomes; it allows us to share and combine efforts and skills in an ever-developing area of work, and that means this vital funding can go further.”  

Cllr Ellie Emberson, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Housing, said: “This £477,500 funding is very welcome and will directly benefit tenants living in homes built in the 1920s on the Old Norcot Estate. 

“The project will allow us to carry out improvements such as installing wall and loft insulation, triple glazing, replace doors, upgrade central heating and other structural repairs. 

“Not only will this make those properties warmer and more comfortable, it will also enable families to save money on energy bills. 

“This work is part of a wider programme of planned upgrades to council homes to make them more energy efficient and will help the Council reduce its carbon emissions.” 

Lee North-Smith, snr consultant, Assets Management at Paradigm Housing Group, said: “We’re thrilled with this funding award. We have some ambitious targets for asset decarbonisation, and the three projects involved in this next round of retrofits will give us the opportunity to take lessons from our first major Air Source Heat Pump retrofit project in Prestwood and apply them elsewhere. Our customers deserve warm and draft-free homes, without high heating bills and a minimal carbon footprint. This funding will make a significant contribution in helping us achieve that.”