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Don’t pass on the costs to tenants

Decarbonisation has rightly emerged as one of the key issues within housing in Wales. If we are to achieve existing climate targets, let alone any new, more ambitions targets agreed to in COP 26 every sector will have to play its role. A question that will have to be addressed during this Senedd term, however, is how can the social housing sector make significant progress on decarbonisation without disproportionately passing on the costs to tenants?

This is not a new challenge for the sector. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Poverty in Wales 2020 report found that 40,000 social renters had been pulled into poverty in Wales due to above inflation rent increases. The pressure on rents could become even more acute over coming years, with social landlords faced with having to construct a new generation of social housing whilst retrofitting their existing stock.

This is an issue that the Welsh Government must address if it is to achieve its goals of decarbonising social housing whilst continuing to increase the availability of social housing, in a way that can make a contribution to solving poverty.

Steffan Evans is policy and research officer at the Bevan Foundation

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