(1) What data does the Government have about thermal performance in social housing homes and how does the Government assess whether these homes meet liveability standards?
(a) What liveability standards does the Government use?
(2) How many social housing dwellings in New South Wales operate outside the healthy temperature recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), especially in winter?
(a) How many of these are in the Sydney electorate or inner city?
(3) What action has the Government taken to retrofit social housing homes to improve insulation, upgrade equipment and appliances, and meet WHO building health standards?
(a) How many properties in the Sydney electorate and inner city have been retrofitted?
(4) What further plans does the Government have to retrofit social housing properties to reduce costs and meet building health standards?
I am advised:
(1) This question is a matter for the Treasurer and Minister for Energy and Environment.
(a) The NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) uses the ‘LAHC Dwelling Requirements’ and ‘Good Design for Social Housing’, which incorporate liveability standards and guidelines as its standards for new LAHC dwellings. The documents are publicly available at https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/land-andhousing-corporation/news/good-design-for-social-housing.
The design and specification of new Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) homes is informed by the AHO Design Guidelines. The Design Guidelines were endorsed by the AHO Board in August 2021. The AHO Design Guidelines use the NatHERs star rating system to rate the energy efficiency of a home based on its design and thermal performance. The Design Guidelines identify five key climate zones across New South Wales and set minimum NatHERS ratings that new homes must achieve depending on the climate zone in which they are located.
(2) LAHC and AHO dwellings are designed and constructed to meet New South Wales legislative requirements, including the requirements of the National Construction Code.
(3) and (4) LAHC has retrofitted solar systems at 5,168 properties and energy efficient air conditioners at 2,007 properties since July 2017. Solar systems and air conditioners are prioritised for communities most affected by climatic conditions.
Further details are available at: https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/land-and-housingcorporation/plans-and-policies/lahc-heating-and-cooling-policy.
The AHO has a number of retro-fit programs that aim to improve the liveability and energy performance of dwellings across the portfolio. This includes the installation of energy efficient air conditioning split systems and solar PV systems, as well as recladding, roof replacement and window replacement programs. These programs are being delivered through both existing capital upgrade programs and stimulus-funded programs.
As at end of FY20/21, the AHO has delivered solar panels to a total of 3,931 Aboriginal homes/families, which is circa 67 per cent of AHO’s property portfolio. The AHO is currently rolling out the solar stimulus program that will provide solar PV systems to a further 1,760 properties. When the program is completed at 30 June 2022, 100 per cent of AHO properties will have solar panels installed.
As at end of FY20/21, the AHO has delivered energy efficient air conditioning and passive energy upgrades (LED lights, door seals, ceiling fans) to a total of 1,200 Aboriginal homes/families so far. The AHO is continuing to roll out the air conditioning program on a further 1,663 properties with the program scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2022.
Recognising that roof failure can have significant impact on asset condition and tenant wellbeing, the AHO has invested heavily in upgrades to roofs. AHO has undertaken over 200 roof replacements across the last two financial years. The roof replacement program includes the upgrading of insulation to improve the thermal performance of the dwelling and reduce the need for mechanical heating/cooling. The AHO also inspects and/or installs insulation when upgrades are untaken on the properties as part of the capital upgrade program.
The AHO has undertaken a project to replace old timber windows with aluminium sliding windows, and to remove external AC sheet and replacing with insulated vinyl cladding. The removal of ‘drafty’ windows and installations of new cladding provides significant thermal upgrades to our older stock. A total of 294 properties have been upgraded as part of this program.