Understanding sustainability through Bradford affordable housing lens




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Peer reviewed



Sustainability has gained momentum in recent years due to natural threats and government regulations with housing sector being at the centre of this debate. Affordable housing providers frequently face a dilemma of delivering sustainable homes while maintaining affordable rent for customers. This paper aims to shed some light on the important considerations of sustainable, affordable housing criteria, and hence increasing understanding of sustainable housing from an affordable, social housing perspective. To achieve this aim, the paper reviews the relevant literature to identify a common ground in defining sustainability, and presents an example of sustainability approach from a social housing provider at Bradford: namely, Incommunities. The outcome suggests that in order to achieve true sustainability, the environmental, social, and economic dimensions must be simultaneously taken into consideration, although the weight of each dimension can differ depending on the context. The outcome also suggests that Incommunities takes a holistic approach to sustainability based on residents and affordability requirements. Incommunities provides affordable rent, employment opportunities, and access to different services and support for residents. The affordable rent is mainly achieved through energy efficiency measures and Decent Homes government programme. These initial outcomes provide the basis of an on-going partnership project, between University of Bradford and Incommunities, aimed at developing decision support tools and techniques for sustainable, affordable social housing to ultimately deliver customer satisfaction and quality of life for the Bradford community.


KTP project


Affordable housing, Customers, Incommunities, Sustainable housing, UK


Abuzeinab, A., Oltean-Dumbrava, C., and Dickens D. (2014) Understanding sustainability through Bradford affordable housing lens. Proceedings of the 40th IAHS World Congress on Housing, Sustainable Housing Construction, 16-19 December 2014, Funchal, Portgual


Research Institute

Institute of Architecture