In this BLOG, Katie Carey, Head of Commercial Services at CHIC shares her views on the policy responses to the recent WHQS2023 consultation.
Following our WHQS2023 consultation article in CHIC CHAT in February 2023, the Welsh Government has published a summary of the policy responses and actions they are looking to implement.
They have said that WHQS2023 is to reflect changes to how people live, work and feel about their homes, and to start decarbonising the Welsh social housing stock as scale. They have responded to the 24 questions that came from the consultation.
In summary they acknowledged that the standard will be strengthened in places to help provide further clarity. This will be done in these sections:
- Part 1b – Homes must be free from damp
- Tenant engagement
- Part 3 – Homes must be affordable to heat and have minimal environmental impact
- Part 6 – Homes must be comfortable and promote wellbeing.
They have accepted the challenges around financial and skilled resources to undertake the Target Energy Pathways. They have removed the 2026 deadline from the standard and will amend the standard to include bands in the EIR score and Carbon balancing guidance will be published.
The Minister has agreed a planned approach is to be adopted and all landlords will be required to produce an “Affordable Warmth and Decarbonisation Plan” within 3 years from the launch of the standard.
The Plan will set out when the landlord will achieve the targets of an Environmental Efficiency Rating (EER) of 92 and an Environmental Impact Rating (EIR) of 92 for their housing stock.
Guidance will be provided by Welsh Government which will set out how the Plan is to be produced.
Landlords will be expected to ensure that all their homes reach a fabric-based EPC band C by 2029.
Welsh Government officials will assess the plans and the evidence provided to ensure it indicates a viable timetable to implement the required improvements to achieve the targets within the standard.
Katie Carey, CHIC’s Head of Commercial Services said “I think it is pleasing to see that Welsh Government has listened to the consultation and has adapted the standard. It now would be beneficial to have the working detail and a definite timescale of the release so everyone can start working towards this.”
Here is a link to their full response: Consultation Template (gov.wales)
Here is the link to: The Welsh Housing Quality Standard 2023 Draft for consultation
We now await Welsh Government to issue the final version of WHQS 2023, which will no doubt have implications for all social landlords across Wales.
WALES OPTIMISED RETROFIT PROGRAMME ROUNDTABLE
CHIC is excited to announce it’s upcoming roundtable event, the second in a series, scheduled for November 15, 2023 at the Village Hotel in Cardiff. Building on the success of our initial event, we are extending invitations to both returning participants and new members and supply chain partners in Wales.
During this event, we will engage in meaningful discussions regarding the progress made thus far and its alignment with the expectations set by the Welsh Government. We eagerly anticipate insights from sector experts, as their perspectives will greatly enhance our exploration of the Optimised Retrofit Programme.
To secure your spot, please click on the link below to register. We also value your input in shaping the agenda and early registrants have the opportunity to influence the discussion topics.
For further information or enquiries, please feel free to reach out to Katie Carey, our Head of Commercial Services, at [email protected]. We look forward to your participation and the valuable contributions you will bring to this event.