Making sure that private homes are as energy efficient as possible isn’t only big on the sustainability agenda. It's a core priority for welfare officers and landlords too.
Across Sheffield, the voice of landlords is at the heart of the drive towards more environmentally friendly housing for students, thanks to Green Impact Student Homes.
“I personally believe that it makes a better place to live”, explained landlord of 12 properties John Myers. “It makes a better environment for the students if they’re living at ease, and at peace, with their neighbours in residential areas”
“Little things like making sure they have shared bike sheds. Making sure they know which bins to use for what, and which day to put it out…. I think it’s just common sense”
An increasing number of landlords are switching on to the benefits of offering higher quality housing stock, not least from a commercial perspective. John notes that “the main thing that has caused change in student houses hasn’t been driven by legislation, it’s been market driven”
Green Impact Student Homes’ accreditation certificates will act as a clear signal of a quality product to students looking for a privately rented home. It’s a question of consumer demand, and landlords are becoming wise to the fact that students are looking for lower bills, warmer homes, and greener living.
“From the landlords’ point of view, I think it something we’re going to have to do”, explains landlord Jane Kotke.
“Some people ask ‘why are you getting involved in Green Impact?’ but I think we’ve got to address this problem. If we can cut down on the amount of electricity, the amount of gas, and the amount of food waste – it’s got to be beneficial”
It’s just as much a welfare issue as an environmental one, as University of Sheffield Students' Union welfare officer Becca Barnes explains. “The simplicity of a project that aligns the interests of both landlords and students is really exciting”
“The vision is achieving changes in households that will tangibly benefit our members' homes, finances, and academic work when they have a comfortable environment to work and live in”
Through Green Impact Student Homes, we're seeing landlords and students forge a new partnership, raising the standard of accommodation across Sheffield, and having a range of positve impacts on student life.