Together Housing Group are working with the University of Huddersfield on the recruitment of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Social Research Engagement Lead graduate position.

Once recruited the graduate will work to develop innovative ways of engaging tenants during a process of change as Together Housing works to decarbonise its’ current housing stock and achieve its retrofit agenda.

Decarbonisation is all about reducing CO2 emissions with the goal of eliminating them. This can be done by using low carbon power sources which produce lower amounts of greenhouse gases.

The decarbonisation of UK housing stock through retrofit has been described as one of the major engineering challenges of the twenty-first century and key to tackling the ongoing climate change crisis. It also poses a significant challenge to social science as researchers try and find ways to increase the acceptability of decarbonising measures.

Patrick Berry, Director of Together Housing’s Net Zero strategy said, “To decarbonise our housing stock and improve its energy efficiency is an enormous challenge. We will not succeed unless we have the support and cooperation of our residents and this KTP project is key to how we achieve that.”

The graduate also known as the KTP Associate, will be recruited over an initial two-year period and will take an interdisciplinary approach to the project and will be provided with academic support through the School of Human and Health Sciences as well as Huddersfield Business School.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a three-way project between a graduate, a commercial organisation and a university. Graduates are recruited to deliver strategic projects within the organisation, whilst being supported by academic experts from the partner university.

Participating in a KTP can enhance a graduate’s career prospects as it provides an opportunity to showcase the knowledge and experience acquired during their degree while they deliver and manage a challenging project which then quite often becomes central to an organisation’s strategic development and long-term growth.

Part-funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK, a KTP help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base.

Supervising the project from the University of Huddersfield will be Professor of Housing and Communities Philip Brown with additional support from Professor Shona Bettany and Dr Claire McCamley from Huddersfield Business School.

Professor Philip Brown said, “Whilst the sector is well-versed in undertaking standard property renovations, for example, installing new kitchens and bathrooms, complying with the carbon reduction agenda is more complex and can require significant changes to both the lifestyle and behaviour of tenants, as well as changes in the understanding and approaches of social housing staff,”

On the whole the UK has old, cold damp properties across various tenures and because of the nature of social housing, Together Housing accommodates a wide range of diverse populations, across different age groups, with some being described as quite vulnerable.

Professor Brown added, “The challenge is finding a way to install measures and equipment which will lead to warmer and more efficient homes as quickly as possible, with as large a buy-in as possible, whilst reducing the disruption and impact on people living in their homes.”

Together Housing hopes to share the methodology produced by the KTP Associate with other organisations to provide advice and demonstrate to the sector how to efficiently decarbonise housing stock so that they too can be proactive in reducing their carbon footprint.