What is the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund?

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) is a UK government initiative that aims to reduce carbon emissions from social housing while also improving the energy efficiency of these homes. The fund was announced in 2020 as part of the government’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The SHDF funds social housing providers to make energy-efficiency upgrades to their properties. It will provide much needed support for social housing providers to carry out energy efficiency upgrades in their properties, such as installing insulation, upgrading heating systems, and improving ventilation.  By making homes more comfortable, healthier, and cheaper to run for tenants. The SHDF aims to address fuel poverty and improve living conditions while supporting the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

Img: SHDF, housing for retrofit projects

How much funding is available?

  • A total budget of £778 million has been awarded through the second wave of SHDF on 22 March 2023. 
  • The total of both schemes (SHDF and Home Upgrade Grant) is £1.4 billion 
  • A further £409 million has been allocated to reduce carbon emissions of hospitals, schools, museums, universities and other public sector buildings across England.

Why is SHDF important?

Social housing is vital in providing affordable homes for millions across the UK. However, these homes are often older and less energy-efficient than privately owned properties, leading to higher energy bills and poorer living conditions for tenants.

By investing in energy efficiency upgrades for social housing, the SHDF can help address these issues, making homes more comfortable and affordable for tenants while reducing their environmental impact. 

This is particularly important as we work towards meeting our climate change targets and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

What can SHDF funding be used for? 

With the provided funding, social housing providers can improve around 90,000 residences with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating lower than C.

The funding will also be used to support schools and hospitals to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint—improvements including insulation, heating upgrades, and renewable energy technologies.

Who can access SHDF funding?

SHDF is available to local authorities, social housing providers, off-grid households and charities in England. These providers can apply for funding to support energy efficiency upgrades in their properties.

To be eligible for funding, housing providers must demonstrate that their proposed projects will achieve minimum carbon savings and energy efficiency improvements. They must also show that their projects are financially viable and that they have the necessary skills and expertise to carry out the work.

Funding breakdown in regions covered by VOR

  • West Midlands: £93.5 million
  • East Midlands: £74.7 million
  • London: £131.5 million
  • South West: £80.2 million
  • South East: £128.9 million
  • East of England: £83.6 million

Case study – Social Housing Development Fund

VOR carried a full PAS 2035 service on 74 terraced and semi-detached properties on the Newford Estate in Stoke on Trent for Faithful and Gould / Unitas with funding from SHDF. 

VOR were able to exceed the targets set and cut costs with the inclusion of cavity wall insulation to the party walls overcoming the need for party wall agreements and works to private properties.