Millions of pounds have been secured to make homes warmer, cheaper and greener

Durham County Council joined forces with five housing associations, including believe housing, to apply for money from the government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).

A total of £6m was awarded to the consortium and the housing associations will put in match-funding, to take the value of the wider project close to £10m.

The biggest share of the SHDF funding, of almost £3.4m, will go to County Durham-based believe housing.

It will invest an additional £1.69m in the scheme, meaning around £5m will be spent upgrading more than 1,000 properties.

Works will include loft, cavity wall and underfloor insulation, energy efficient lighting and new heating controls.

Properties will be assessed to establish which measures they would most benefit from.

The work will make those homes warmer, more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions and fuel bills.

Bill Fullen, Chief Executive of believe housing, said: “This funding, one of the largest received in the first wave of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, is a real achievement for our team and the partners in the consortium.

“It could not have come at a better time for believe housing, as we work on our ambitious environment pledge to reduce our carbon footprint and explore how to decarbonise all 18,000 of our homes.

“And, as we all deal with rising energy costs, it will enable believe housing to upgrade at least 900 homes, helping to cut fuel bills for our customers and make their homes feel warmer.

“Our teams are constantly looking for new funding and ways to support our customers, so any tenant who feels their home is cold or is worried about rising energy costs should get in touch.”

The housing associations in the consortium were believe housing, Karbon Homes, Livin Housing, Bernicia Homes and North Star Housing.

The Durham County Council-led bid was among 69 projects to secure funds from the £179m made available in the SHDF wave 1 funding.

Durham County Councillor James Rowlandson, Cabinet member for resources, investments and assets, said: “The works that will be carried out through the SHDF will make a significant difference to households across the county, helping to make homes more energy efficient at a time when many of us are concerned about rising fuel costs.

“We have ambitious targets to reduce our carbon footprint and to support the county as a whole to become more sustainable. Initiatives such as the SHDF will help us to achieve this aim, and we will continue to work with our partners to secure more investment and help build a greener future for our communities.”

Overall, the government has allocated £800m to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund as part of a multibillion-pound, three-year investment in the decarbonisation of heat and buildings.