Chancellor announces £50m for social housing retrofit | News

Chancellor announces £50m for social housing retrofit

The Chancellor has announced that there will be a £50m social housing retrofit programme as part of a £3bn "green jobs" programme.

The money is set to go towards giving tenants better insulation, heat pumps and double glazing.

The package of measures comes as the government look to create jobs in the wake of Covid-19.

In an announcement today, Rishi Sunak will unveil the £50m, saying it will be spent on a pilot study to create “innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing at scale to make them greener”.

Also being announced is a voucher scheme for homeowners, where the government will help meet the costs of energy efficiency measures. 

In a £2bn grant scheme, Sunak will reveal that vouchers of up to £5,000 for homeowners will be on offer, many to the poorest households. 

The £2bn, called the Green Homes Grant, will see government paying at least two-thirds of the cost towards the improvements.

The scheme will launch in September, with online applications for recommended energy efficiency measures, along with details of accredited local suppliers.

Once one of these suppliers has provided a quote and the work is approved, the voucher is issued.

The government said about half of the fund will go to the poorest homeowners, who will not have to contribute anything. Better insulation could save some people £600 a year on energy bills, the Treasury said.

Builders praised the announcement for the jobs it will create in the sector.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said: "This is very good news, signalling both an important step towards building back better and greener, and a vote of confidence for local builders up and down the country.

"This will protect jobs in construction, and create new opportunities. We must ensure that all the new entrants to the industry receive proper training or apprenticeships, to guarantee that energy efficiency home improvements are delivered by quality tradespeople."