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Home Group opens doors of net-zero project to mayoral candidates

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts, PR and media advisor

Housing association Home Group, as part of the North East Housing Partnership, invited the North East mayoral candidates to tour their Gateshead Innovation Village development and learn firsthand about the green credentials it represents in the region.

Green candidate Andrew Gray attended the tour, being shown around the site by Home Group’s Lead Sustainability Manager Paul White.

Gateshead Innovation Village was completed in 2019 and utilises a range of sustainable technologies and non-traditional build types.

With more than 1,000 homes planned to be retrofitted as part of Wave 2 of government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), the majority of which will be in the North East, Home Group is planning to lean on its learning from the Gateshead scheme to inform it’s future projects.

Sharing with Mr Gray on the day, this included talking about the power of a ‘fabric-first approach’ and strong customer engagement, as well as the importance of ensuring there are skilled contractors and a robust supply chain available both during the delivery of the works and to maintain them afterwards.

As a region we have huge potential around net-zero but it relies on achievable, equitable and affordable retrofitting, as well as the availability of sufficient and appropriate funding.

As a partnership of the region’s housing providers, the North East Housing Partnership sees a significant opportunity in close collaboration between partners and in working with the new mayor and local authorities to achieve our green ambitions for the region.

Paul White, Lead Sustainability Manager at Home Group said: “It was brilliant to open the doors of Gateshead Innovation Village to our mayoral candidates and share the potential we have as a region on net-zero.

“I was able to discuss many of the challenges and opportunities with Andrew Gray on the day, and I’d encourage any of the mayoral candidates to reach out and find out more about how we can deliver green objectives for the North East.”

The visit is one of a programme of visits arranged by the North East Housing Partnership and offered to all six of the North East mayoral candidates to showcase the work of the partnership and demonstrate how a new mayor could support the delivery of more and better quality homes in the region.

The North East Housing Partnership is a group of social housing providers working together to support the new North East Mayoral Combined Authority to deliver a comprehensive housing plan for the region that drives economic growth and helps residents live longer, healthier lives.

Paul Fiddaman, Chair of the North East Housing Partnership said: “With housing waiting lists in the new North East mayoral region topping 65,000, the need for new affordable homes in the region has never been greater.

“As a partnership of affordable housing providers, we are committed to working together and with the new Mayor to ensure the region gets the housing and support it needs to grow and for residents and communities to thrive.”

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