Implementing net zero affordable housing — towards a human-centred approach

by Jing Zhao

28 Sep 2023
Journal of the British Academy
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Abstract: This paper reviews the UK Net Zero Strategy in conjunction with the decarbonisation of the affordable housing sector, with a focus on the key stakeholders involved in the decarbonisation process. Viewing it from a socio-technical perspective, this paper discusses three overarching groups of people in delivering low-carbon affordable housing — affordable housing providers, the supply chain and residents — highlights the range of issues and factors that policymakers should be considering; provides sign-posts to evidence; and discusses some critical gaps, barriers and transition risk factors in delivering net zero policies and potential mitigating strategies that can be learned from exemplary projects. The conclusion of this paper proposes a preliminary structure for a five-step place-based, human-centred framework to implement net zero in the affordable housing sector, emphasising the importance of long-term legislative certainty and funding, localised decision-making with stakeholder engagement, including approaches such as communities of practice, a soft landings framework, and developing monitoring and evaluation matrices.

Keywords: Net Zero Strategy, affordable housing, human-centred, place-based, decarbonisation, socio-technical, low-carbon, communities of practice, soft landings, evaluation matrices.

Article posted to the Journal of the British Academy, volume 11, supplementary issue 4 (Governance Factors on the Road to Net Zero)

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