Mina ParmarConservative Councillor and Portfolio Holder for Housing in Harrow
Cllr Mina Parmar reflects on the councils ambitions plans for improving energy efficiency in council housing.
In May 2022, the Conservative Party resumed power of Harrow Council for the first time since 2013, and have pledged ambitious energy performance targets for its Housing Stock across the borough. As a result, it was awarded the largest grant allocation, relative to stock size, of any boroughs in London.
Cllr Mina Parmar is the Portfolio Holder for Housing and has shown strategic leadership and a dynamic vision in improving the energy efficiency for homes in Harrow.
Harrow Council owns in excess of 4,900 homes, which are managed through its Housing Revenue Account (HRA). This equates to approximately 5% of total stock in the borough. The Council also manages an estimated 1,200 leasehold properties, 800 garages and 11 community centres.
Social Housing Decarbonation Fund (SHDF)
The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) is a £3.8bn 2019 Conservative manifesto commitment over a 10-year period to improve the energy performance of social rented homes, on the pathway to Net Zero 2050.
The fund enables local authorities to upgrade low energy efficient social housing stock currently below Energy Performance Certificate EPC – C. A key aspect which strengthened the successful London Borough of Harrow grant bid was the HRA commitment to run a parallel planned investment programmes for windows, doors and roofs refurbishment.
Action Plan for Harrow:
Harrow Council has set out an ambitious retrofit plan for the low energy efficient social housing stock. This includes: loft insulation and draught proofing of over 226 homes, cavity wall insulation of 129 homes, underfloor insulation of 142 homes, external wall insulation in 97 homes and solar PV in 36 homes. In addition to these measures the capital funding has been provided to for new windows, roofs, doors and ventilation.
Harrow was awarded £2.1m and will be co-funding the decarbonisation strategy and retrofits to its home by committing £2.93m to delivering the energy efficiency works.
The ambitious strategy hopes to deliver the 4 key objectives:
- Decarbonisation strategy:
We have a moral and ethical responsibility to reduce carbon emissions from homes within our Borough in response to the climate emergency we face. It is vital we retrofit and upgrade our homes to decarbonise and reduce emissions from fossil fuels.
- Energy Efficient Homes:
The cost of living crises and the number of residents in fuel poverty has risen over the last 12 months. Retrofits across Harrow will increase low-income household’s energy efficiency rating and therefore reducing their energy bills.
- Comfort and wellbeing:
The developments will deliver warmer and better insulated homes, which provide enhanced living environments with enhanced ambient temperature management across winter and summer extremes.
- Damp & Mould:
Through fabric first intervention, improved insulation and smart ventilation across homes, minimising Health & Safety risk.
The Conservatives in Harrow stood on a platform of putting residents first. I feel a sense of personal duty in ensuring the homes we provide for residents are both warm and comfortable. Our ambitious retrofit plans and decarbonisation strategy deliver for our residents, the environment and social value. We continue to engage with residents to ensure we proactively improve and upgrade their homes so they feel pride in their home.