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Guide For More Sustainable Social Housing

01 February 2021

Victorians can look forward to more sustainable social housing, with the release of a new report that provides practical advice to help housing agencies in their efforts to make housing more energy efficient.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Melissa Horne launched the report today, congratulating the author – Community Housing Industry Association (Victoria) – on creating an excellent resource for the sector.

The report provides practical information and case studies to help Registered Housing Associations apply for government grants for social housing, and plan for and carry out improvement projects.

This is particularly important in 2021, with the Andrews Labor Government providing $5.3 billion to construct more than 12,000 new homes.  This includes $1.38 billion for the community housing sector to build 4,200 homes.

These new homes will meet 7-star energy efficiency standards, making them more comfortable during summer and winter, and saving tenants on their power bills.

The government is also providing $50 million for community housing providers to undertake maintenance and upgrade works on social housing properties they manage, or own, as part of the Building Works package.

The new report, Energy Efficiency in the Victorian Community Housing Sector, highlights the benefits of making social housing more energy efficient and captures the lessons learned by housing agencies that participated in the Victorian Property Fund’s 2017-18 environmentally sustainable funding round.

The round resulted in $2.7 million of improvements to existing social housing such as installing energy efficient cooling and heating systems, solar panels and battery storage to increase the on-site usage of renewable energy, benefitting over 1400 low-income households.

The report shows the opportunities and challenges involved in improving the energy efficiency of existing social housing, helping to reduce future electricity bills and reduce carbon emissions.

It was produced thanks to a $100,000 Victorian Property Fund grant to Community Housing Industry Association (Victoria), which played a central role in supporting the sector carry out the improvements and capturing the lessons from the round.

The report, case studies and further information can be found at: chiavic.com.au/resources/energy-efficiency-projects/.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs

“With record funding for new social housing and upgrades, this timely report shows the benefits of energy-efficient social housing – making homes more comfortable and saving tenants money on their energy bills.”

“This report gives housing agencies valuable insights into the benefits of making their housing more sustainable, as well as practical tips to carry out this important work.”

“The report and case studies are an important contribution towards building the knowledge, skills and capacity of the community housing sector.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“These measures will save people money on their bills and ensure that every Victorian gets to play their part on reducing emissions in their household.”

Reviewed 01 February 2021

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