Mears report highlights opportunities and challenges facing UK housing sector

Mears report highlights opportunities and challenges facing UK housing sector

Mears Group has warned that the housing sector faces a monumental task in achieving the UK’s net zero targets.

The specialist housing provider has launched its inaugural decarbonisation report, shedding light on both the opportunity and the challenge ahead.

Building on its extensive experience of retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient, the report, Warmer, healthier homes – domestic retrofit a net zero opportunity, recognises that while there has been some progress, the industry is behind where it needs to be in its net zero journey.

It highlights some of the progress which has been made, including the UK government initiative – the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) – which has proven to be a major catalyst for change. It also celebrates the emergence of new forums including the National Home Decarbonisation Group, which Mears is a founding member of, as showing willingness across the industry to work together.

The report discusses the scale of opportunity which retrofitting brings in terms of jobs. With estimates that the retrofit sector will require almost 500,000 trained professionals to deliver housing targets, there is scope for people to develop careers in this sector. However, with an aging workforce and ongoing skills shortages, it is vital that the benefits of joining the sector are clearly communicated and that the industry develops clear succession plans to manage the transition across the workforce.

It also highlights the importance of collaboration across the sector and with government. It recognises that with the number of properties which need to be retrofitted, estimated to be up to 29 million homes, long-term policy support is required, along with clear regulations and standards.

To meet these massive targets, for both retrofitting and new housing, the sector must come together and share knowledge, experience, and technology.

Lucas Critchley, CEO of Mears Group, said: “We know that we cannot reach net zero without decarbonising the UK’s housing stock, and as a sector we all need to work together to meet this goal.

“Our position as one of the UK’s leading and most trusted providers of specialist housing services means we have a unique perspective on the challenges the sector is facing. We also know that there is a massive opportunity for industry to make a real difference, but we must act now to embrace it.”

He continued: “We are pleased to launch this report which builds on our own experience and wider sector trends to look at what industry needs to do to ensure that the transition is inclusive, and that the benefits are felt by everyone.”

“By working collaboratively, we can build a future where everyone has access to safe, affordable housing that goes some way to achieving our net zero ambitions as a country.”

In total, the report makes twelve recommendations, all of which are aiming to help the sector meet the goal of ensuring the UK has healthier, warmer, better ventilated homes, which support the country’s net zero goals.

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