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Heartwarming Homes launch new toolkit to engage residents

The free toolkit will help housing providers change the way they engage with residents about energy efficiency improvements.
Northern Housing Consultum

Developed in partnership with social housing residents and housing professionals, it builds on work by the Northern Housing Consortium’s (NHC) Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury and Placeshapers and Tpas research, ‘Residents’ Voices in Net Zero Journey’. 


The Heartwarming Homes toolkit, which launched today, includes research by the Behaviour Change Network. This found that approaches to tackling climate change, in this case having energy efficiency work done on your home, must remove barriers that limit individual action.  


The toolkit includes practical advice, and provides a range of resources, including template letters, videos, and a step-by-step communication process. It’s designed to support housing providers to work with residents to overcome barriers to having work done, build trust, and put residents’ needs at the heart of energy efficiency improvement programmes.   


Kathy Thomas, Communications Project Manager (Net Zero) and lead for the Heartwarming Homes project said:  “We’re really excited to launch this toolkit to support housing providers embarking on energy efficiency projects. Communication and engagement with residents should be an essential part of energy efficiency upgrade project plans. Getting engagement right can increase resident satisfaction and help projects run smoothly.  


This toolkit will support social landlords at the beginning of their Net Zero journey, so they’re not starting from scratch with communication. It’s also useful for those who have already completed projects to combine with their own learning.  


It’s fantastic to bring something practical out of two important resident-led research projects: the Social Housing Tenants’ Climate Jury and Residents’ Voices in Net Zero Journey. It’s about the sector working together to overcome common challenges, it’s time to collaborate not duplicate.” 


Stephen Mackenzie, Social Housing Tenant Climate Juror, and member of the Heartwarming Homes tenant advisory group said: “Many of the Jury recommendations included aspects of communicating and engaging with customers.  


What NHC, Tpas and PlaceShapers have done is to take the Jury recommendations, clarify these with tenants, and then discuss them with a number of landlords to develop a toolkit from the perspective of both sides.  


I see Heartwarming Homes as a ‘fluid’ document which will continually evolve as practices, procedures and technology improve. Collaboration between all parties, including tenants, is key to hitting Net Zero 2050.” 


James Temple, a member of the Heartwarming Homes tenant advisory group who was also involved in the Placeshapers and Tpas research, said: “”As a social housing resident, I know first-hand the importance of great professionalism. Heartwarming Homes will really help when interacting with residents.” 


The toolkit was reviewed by residents, housing professionals and other organisations including the Housing Diversity Network, during a ‘Test and Learn phase’. It received excellent feedback and recommendations, such as adding more terms to the jargon buster, were incorporated into the project. 


Housing providers can access the toolkit free of charge at: 

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