Key themes

Housing prides itself on being THE event at which people can discuss, dissect and disseminate the detail of the areas of prime relelvance to those in the sector. This year we have elevated two key themes to feature widely across the entire event: climate change and sustainability, and mental health and wellbeing.

Sessions, speakers and elements of added value will offer the opportunity for delegates to hear high level strategy and ideas, TED talk style in depth detail and the chance to take part in round table discussions.

Climate change and sustainability

Brave decisions in housing are needed to tackle the climate crisis

The upsurge of media interest in climate change – think Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg’s School Strike movement across Europe - has highlighted the lack of public debate on climate change and sustainability. The housing sector cares about climate change but as builders of 22,000 homes every year they are significant contributors to the UK’s carbon emissions and a firm plan and direction is needed NOW to deliver solutions. Join us at Housing to hear innovative solutions to cutting carbon emissions, reducing energy consumptions, retrofitting and more!

Sessions include:

Zero carbon 2030: Can housing do it and what would it take?

Where the world is going – and how to adapt

Taking a radical approach to net zero emissions

Innovative and practical solutions to achieving sustainable homes and communities

Climate change hackathon

Meeting the challenge of the climate emergency takes sector-wide collaboration and innovation. That’s why we’re hosting the biggest housing climate change hackathon on 8 September. Join us to rapidly ideate and design solutions to inspire and mobilise greener decisions and behaviours across the housing sector.

Getting the economy going as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic will mean a focus on creating more sustainable and energy efficient homes, emphasised by the government’s recent package of £3bn. This is a challenge that needs our collective energy to ensure we are recovering in the right way. The Virtual Housing Festival has joined forces with an expert steering group to devise a hackathon that could help lay the foundation for a greener future.

It was widely agreed that a plethora of technology and solutions already exist to tackle climate change within new build and retrofit. So we’re asking hackers how to engage, educate and motivate the entire housing sector (including tenants and homeowners) to adopt a climate emergency approach to all their decision making. Whether carrot or stick, you will work in teams to come up with creative solutions to persuasively incentivise organisations and individuals to take action.

How can we inspire more widespread adoption of technology and a shift to greener behaviours? How can we create compelling financial and legislative incentives? What small changes will have an immediate big impact? You can help by joining one of four 2-hour innovation sessions at the Virtual Housing Festival. Participants will work together to innovate solutions in quick bursts. Four solutions will emerge and one winning idea, voted for by delegates.

Your team will focus on one of four key areas:

• Behavioural • Technological • Investment/funding • Legislation

And will adopt the guise of one of these four key groups:

  • Private buyer
  • Homeowner/user
  • Institutional investor, BTR, for-profit provider
  • Social landlord

No prior experience in sustainability is needed, just the enthusiasm to make change happen! You will be supported by subject-matter experts on the day to inspire your ideas and help shape them into actionable solutions that can be deployed straight away.

Why should you join?

  • Learn new skills to innovate and create change in the housing sector
  • Walk away with tangible ideas for engagement tools that will inspire more sustainable decisions
  • Access subject-matter experts and gain valuable contacts in a collaborative environment
  • Benefit from the promotion involved in being part of the winning team!

How do I sign up?

Places are limited so to sign up

Lead supporter:

With thanks to our sponsors:


“The experience is a unique mix of networking, fun and learning. I have never experienced such a broad range of forward-thinking ways of hosting and presenting such as the silent talks that were happening around the venue and the model homes.”
B Lennox, MHCLG