New homes will save householders hundreds of pounds

A report released by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) has revealed that new homes can save households hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills.

‘You’ve got the power’ which was published on 20 October 2017, highlights that more than 8 out of 10 new builds have the top A or B rating for energy efficiency compared to just 2.2% of existing properties. This means that new homes use less energy which on average, could lead to a saving of £52 per month or £629 per year for tenants and homeowners.

RBH Director of Communities, Clare Tostevin, said:

“All of our new homes are built with at least a B energy rating, including those which we constructed in Lower Falinge in 2015.”

“Whenever we design and build a new home, we find ways to make them as energy efficient as possible including using new technology and building materials such as high-quality insulation, energy efficient boilers, double glazing, low energy light fittings and water saving taps”

“Designing new homes in this way is not only better for the environment but can make a big difference to our residents, helping them to significantly reduce their electricity and heating bills As revealed in the HBF report, these savings can be significant, providing households with more money to spend on other things they need.”

Our letter to the Guardian

Your story on RBH’s redevelopment plans on 15 October has painted an inaccurate picture of the proposals.

There is a much bigger picture to consider, so we are curious to know why this wasn’t explored. Our plans aren’t just about the possible demolition of four towers, but are part of a wider investment in Rochdale Town Centre including both the College Bank and Lower Falinge neighbourhoods plus adjacent land. This will result in new homes of different types and sizes, improved open spaces, a play area and new transport routes.

We are disappointed that you chose to engage with just two households with only one view and that none of these residents are social housing tenants. Furthermore, the other individual quoted has told us that they do not live in Rochdale. As expected at this early stage, there are a mix of views about the proposals across the community and lots of our tenants have opinions. None of these were represented.

As Councillor Emmott says in the article, regeneration should be for everyone, regardless of income or background. That is why our proposals are focused on how we can improve the quality of life for tenants – and change is an essential part of this. It is also why we’re looking at how we can work differently to support people into good quality, sustained employment.

We understand that change can be worrying and why people have concerns, but our proposed investment is intended to provide vast benefits, including higher quality homes and job opportunities for residents of all ages and backgrounds. It’s a pity that these – and other key facts and views about our proposed investment – have been overlooked.

Statement in Response to the Guardian article

We are appalled and angry about the serious accusation of ‘social cleansing’ which was carried in the Guardian (16th October). There is absolutely no truth in the claims made by Cllr Neil Emmott and we are very disappointed that, for whatever reason, he has chosen to make them and in doing so to completely misrepresent our proposals and what they aim to achieve.

Our proposals are completely contrary to ‘social cleansing’. We have guaranteed that all residents who want to stay in the town centre will be able to do so if plans to redevelop College Bank and Lower Falinge go ahead. Our plans would provide a net increase in the total number of homes in the area.

Our aim is to improve the quality and mix of the homes in the area, so that we can both better meet the needs of current residents, and attract new residents to the area. We are also developing plans to ensure that residents in College Bank and Lower Falinge have better access to employment opportunities and training.

Our proposals could result in a net addition of around 500 new homes in Rochdale town centre, in College Bank, Lower Falinge and on sites in the immediate vicinity, many of which currently lie vacant.

We are very proud of the strong community spirit that exists in College Bank and Lower Falinge, with high levels of community volunteering, and our aim is to keep as much of the existing community together as possible while delivering the quality and type of homes that meet the needs of existing residents and attract new residents.

RBH is a mutual housing society, co-owned by our tenant and employee members. We are a non-profit registered community benefit society and a charitable organisation. Any income is reinvested into the communities we serve.