Oldham aims high with healthier housing

Retrofitting homes can improve quality of life and reduce carbon emissions, and is the focus of a new project to be carried out with one local authority in northern England.

Healthier and more energy efficient homes are aims for Oldham Council which has teamed up with Connected Places Catapult to try to increase the scope for retrofitting ageing housing stock.

The local authority and its delivery partner Carbon Co-op are keen for more private dwellings in the region to reduce their climate impact, while also improving the wellbeing of residents living in poorly insulated or heated homes.

Specialists from the Catapult begin a six-month study in October to identify local challenges and better understand the scale of the opportunity in Oldham. They will also propose targeted interventions – including innovative approaches to community-based retrofit – and suggest ways in which homeowners could best be engaged to support and promote new ideas.

Oldham was selected by the Catapult as a ‘location partner’ to produce a home retrofit delivery model for local communities, following consultation with a dozen UK local authorities.

“We are very excited by the new partnership with Oldham, which allows us to develop and test a model that we can hopefully scale up for other locations. It promises to help speed up the retrofit of homes for healthy and resilient futures for all, and open up opportunities for jobs and growth across the UK.”
Connected Places Catapult’s Senior Housing Innovation Lead, Dr Rachna Lévêque

The study will also investigate options for the procurement of new financial models for retrofit installations, identify funding options and explore ways of increasing the involvement of local supply chains in the delivery of services.

“To unlock retrofit and support community resilience in the face of climate change, everyone – from tenants, landlords and homeowners to community organisations, investors and policymakers – needs to be involved. We are working with Oldham  Council to try to understand the art of the possible in bringing communities together to achieve a resilient future.”
Connected Places Catapult’s Delivery and Engagement Manager, Alanna Gluck
“We’re doing everything we can to help people save money while doing our bit to help the environment and creating quality new jobs.

Oldham has got a lot of old houses so this project will help us to better understand how we can roll out support to residents.

We’re working hard to make Oldham the greenest borough in Greater Manchester and this is another step in the right direction.”
Cllr Abdul Jabbar, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Resources

Details of a range of suitable interventions to improve the quality of existing housing stock are contained in Connected Places Catapult’s new report Retrofit 2050: Accelerating Homes of the Future for Health and Resilience.