Housing Associations “ready for strategic role” in Climate Action Plan

Housing associations are ready to partner up with local authorities to deliver ambitious climate action measures for Ireland’s housing stock, delegates were told by the Chief Executive of the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) at their recent AGM in Dublin.

The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) has welcomed the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2019, and its ambition to deliver an extensive deep retrofitting programme with approved housing bodies and local authorities working in partnership as strategic delivery partners, Dr Donal McManus, ICSH Chief Executive, told delegates at the organisation’s AGM in the Ashling Hotel Dublin on 19 June.

Dr McManus says that low-carbon solutions for Ireland’s national housing stock are key to sustainable buildings and construction. “An area-based approach to retrofitting starting with public housing to deliver economies of scale makes sense. The housing association sector is well-placed to roll-out a retrofitting programme at scale to our tenants in communities throughout Ireland. 

“Approved housing bodies and local authorities will work in partnership as strategic delivery partners” – Dr Donal McManus, ICSH Chief Executive.

“From 2010 to 2012, we worked with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to retrofit 1500 of our members’ homes under the ‘Better Energy Homes Scheme’. We can do a lot more now with the financial support from Government alongside a robust delivery structure.”

He said that the Climate Action Plan 2019 needs to operate alongside the National Planning Framework (Project Ireland 2040) with front-loaded funding for public housing retrofitting. “It is important too that existing retrofitting commitments via the European Investment Bank (EIB) and through the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) continue to address the energy deficit of our social housing stock,” noted Dr McManus.