Ocean is campaigning for funding that could transform the lives of thousands of residents living in Cornish units. Having designed a unique technical solution to provide these homes with more warmth (roof insulation), Ocean is lobbying the Government and utilities to release funding that was promised for home improvements under the Climate Change agenda.
“At a time when some people are choosing between eating and heating, we want to ensure that this money goes to those who need it most,” explains Ocean Housing’s Managing Director, Frances Turner.
Ocean has invested over £6 million improving the warmth and comfort of Cornish Units with cavity wall insulation, central heating and double glazing but until now there has been no effective way of completely insulating the roof because of its unique structure.
“This project is the first of its kind in the U.K. specifically designed for Cornish Units and guarantees the highest possible level of roof insulation,” explains Frances. “Obviously it is not within our gift to pay residents’ heating bills, but this really is the next best thing we can do. This ‘super insulation’ will make a significant difference, especially for residents who struggle to afford adequate heating and to keep their homes free of condensation. The external coating will also modernise the appearance of homes, giving a whole new feel to many neighbourhoods throughout Cornwall.”
Ocean Services, the maintenance arm of the housing group, has a proven track record in pioneering energy saving schemes and has the skilled workforce to deliver this complex project:
“We were ready to start last year and were hugely disappointed when the Government moved the goalposts and funding was drastically reduced,” explains Ocean Services Managing Director, Howard Brett.
“We have a core team trained for the task, but with more than 800 units in the county, we would also be creating new jobs to complete this vast project and supporting the local supply chain,” adds Howard.
With government funding for the construction of new affordable homes reduced by 75%, the pressure is on housing associations to self-finance the building of new homes in addition to maintaining their existing properties.
“We have fulfilled our responsibilities over and beyond as a landlord, spending £94 million in the last 14 years bringing all our homes up to and often exceeding Decent Homes Standards,” says Frances Turner. “We truly believe that this project would further improve levels of comfort for residents living in Cornish Units but to make it possible we need clarity and stability with funding. That’s why we are fighting on behalf of residents to ensure that climate change rhetoric is turned into action and that money is used where it can have the biggest impact.”