SHDF Wave 3. Optimism.

SHDF Wave 3.  Optimism.
Photo by AHMAD HASAN / Unsplash

Wave 3 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Has Started. Hold Tight. It Can't Fail.

The aims of this next wave of funding are ambitious. Could the lessons learned in Wave 2 keep us on track this time round?

The Retrofit stages at the 2024 Futurebuild show were packed almost every single session.

Amidst much of the hype around new products and services there were several keynote speakers.

They had some very important things to say.

You can watch the full video of the best (in our opinion) session here.

This contrasts with experience.

The story we found this week of Mel Esquerre who was being penalised as a private house holder, in Scotland as her block was included in a retrofit and refurbishment project, where uncapped bills were being forced upon tenants - could become a UK wide problem.

Forced inclusion.

The flip side of mixed tenure apartment and lease hold terraced buildings is exclusion from the process.

It will be criminal that a home owner who had the money to buy their house from the council, could be left behind as their social housing neighbours enjoy a superbly priced renovation and retrofit enabled by the 'economy of scale' the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) procurement creates.

Wave 3.0 is supposed to eliminate this, the detail is yet to be announced, so we wait, with baited breath.

But to remind you.

Some of the points from the FutureBuild conference were;

  • Prepare and Prepare Early - By knowing what housing stock you have - you can continue to grow a data led planning approach to getting your stock improved.
  • Know What Support is Available - The Turner and Townsend 'Retrofit Accelerator' which helped explain the SHDF process - appears to have been widely approved of with broad support from industry.
  • Understanding Timelines - There is some timeline problems with informing your tenants and cramming work into a tiny window - which have been pretty unpopular.

But. This is a big, putting a flag in the sand moment.

Having read the full 78 pages of of the SHDF Wave 3, Scheme Guidance.

It's pretty clear that the team that put this together, really, really, really know their stuff.

But there is one stinker in the guidance.

A fiduciary duty which if ignored will prevent buy in from the people actually providing services.

It's almost an elephant sized over sight and is because the providers in the previous waves may not have been offered an 'amnesty window' where they could honestly, safely, feedback the straw that nearly broke their back.

Until someone in the RISE team asks a question about how suppliers survive on nominal, almost whimsical payment terms and financial commitments. The scheme. Which looks like the best thing ever.

Will fail.

For example.

If, to quote. The

"earliest a Grant Recipient can receive a payment is May 2025"

then someone needs to take a long cold shower away from their office.

We are in a cost of living crisis.

Companies which we need, now, to deliver the retrofit of thousands of homes are waiting.

But seriously the funds being delivered is the biggest risk, and turn off.

No one is asking for weird stuff.

Not for payment terms like the mistrial victims of our justice system or the compensation of industrial accidents, but more like the fast track payment terms during covid or just. You know.

28 days.

It's a flippant argument for a serious over sight. Get the money right first, no one. Is a charity. In capitalism.

But come the revolution. We're all equal.

Jeez. I hope this works.