Helping reduce harm from unhealthy homes

A healthy home is important for everyone’s health but especially for infants, older people and anyone who is ill at home or recovering from illness. Experts agree that a healthy home is:

  • safe, warm and dry and in good repair; and
  • a place where the residents aren’t at risk of housing-related illnesses by living there.

Evidence shows many houses have flaws that can lead to increased health risk, such as cold, damp homes, damaged or rundown houses, environmental neglect, overcrowded, poorly ventilated homes and homes which are not designed for the occupants’ ability.

Community and Public Health supports and promotes healthy homes and communities by:

  • Sharing advice and information with services working with Māori whānau and Pasifika aiga;
  • Providing resources that encourage healthy homes;
  • Giving advice on how to live so homes remain healthy;
  • Providing advice to community about summer heat health;
  • Assisting the health sector to consider housing as a way to reduce Ambulatory Sensitive (avoidable) Hospital (ASH) admission rates;
  • Supporting the housing sector through policy submissions and strategic planning;
  • Supporting community Initiatives to improve neighbourhoods and housing;
  • Collaborating with key agencies, networks and organisations to achieve positive changes in housing; and
  • Encouraging Canterbury DHB staff to consider housing as a health influencer to assist patients to get practical support and to reduce Ambulatory Sensitive (avoidable) Hospital (ASH) admission rates.

Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development

Beehive media release: 14th June 2021

New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work.

Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa New Zealand’s housing and urban development system.

“While we tackle the housing crisis we inherited with multiple streams of work and funding to fix the underlying barriers to enabling new housing, we also need to consider future challenges like climate change and population growth,” Megan Woods said.

“A key goal of this Government is that everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand lives in a healthy, secure and affordable home that meets their needs, within a thriving, inclusive and sustainable community.

“We need to think smarter about the way we live and where we live. The housing and urban development system affects everyone, so we want you to have your say on the Government’s long-term vision,” Housing Minister Megan Woods said.

Cabinet has also approved the development of a draft Māori Housing Strategy – to replace the existing Māori Housing Strategy/ He Whare Āhuru He Oranga Tāngata.

The new Māori Housing Strategy will be developed in parallel with the GPS-HUD. They will be strongly connected through Te Maihi o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation (MAIHI) Framework for Action – and further accelerate its momentum to achieve significant and enduring housing outcomes by Māori, for Māori.

The consultation closes on Friday 30th July 2021.

Information sheets on some housing issues for renters and homeowners

Report shows progress on Homelessness Action Plan

Beehive media release: 15th May 2021

The Government has welcomed the release of the second progress report on the Homelessness Action Plan, showing that good progress is being made on every one of the immediate actions in the Plan.

“Homelessness will not be solved overnight, but I am pleased to see that this plan is continuing to deliver for some of our most vulnerable, even in the face of the additional pressures of COVID19, housing supply shortages and affordability struggles,” Associate Minister for Housing Marama Davidson says.

The Homelessness Action Plan which was launched in February 2020, and ramped up in response to COVID 19, is the first time a comprehensive central government-led and cross-agency plan has been developed to deliver on the Government’s vision that homelessness is prevented where possible, with a focus on the need for collective action.

The six-monthly report outlined the progress to date, including:

  • Providing urgent support to those in the most need, by continuing to increase Transitional Housing places, delivering 1,005 places as of February 2021.
  • Completing round one of the Local Innovation and Partnership Fund with around $4 million supporting the development and implementation of seven initiatives across the country to respond to and prevent homelessness.
  • Delivering investment though the He Taupua fund to support 37 projects to assist whānau experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity
  • Piloting a rapid rehousing approach to support individuals and whānau into permanent housing. As at February 2021, 342 households had been engaged in the service and 140 households had been successfully housed.

The Homelessness Action Plan is supported by the Public Housing Plan which sets out the Government’s public housing supply intentions for the next four years.

Documents and Links

Home heating and seasonal concerns

Dealing with mould and damp homes

Housing standards and building energy efficient homes

Key national and regional documents

For further information, contact:

Leanne Bayler
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

Key housing agency contacts:

Emergency Housing

Ministry of Social Development
Ph: 0800 559 009
Work and Income

Supporting Tenants

Tenants Protection Association
Ph: +64 3 379 2297

Tenancy Services
Ph: 0800 836 262

Insanitary Housing

Christchurch City Council
Ph: +64 3 941 8666

Energy solutions for healthy living

Community Energy Action
Ph: +64 3 374 7222 or 0800 388 588

New tenant protections come into effect

Beehive media release: 11th February 2021
Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing), Poto Williams says that our rental laws are fit for the times – for the first time in nearly a generation – thanks to this Government’s Residential Tenancies Act reform.

“The new tenancy rules come into effect today and reflect the realities of the modern-day renting environment. Tenants are now able to make their house a home. From today it’s critical that landlords and tenants understand how the changes affect them,” says Poto Williams.

“This Government believes the updated rental laws now provide adequate protections for both tenants and landlords. The reforms have come at a time when Kiwis are renting now more than ever, including whānau and older people,” says Minister Williams.

Home Performance Assessments: Could your home be warmer, drier, healthier or cheaper to heat?

A Home Performance Assessment is a great way to check out how energy efficient your home is. A room-by-room assessment will identify where heat is being lost, sources of dampness, the status of heating and insulation, how your power bill might be reduced, and how the sun’s energy might be better used.

Environment Canterbury (ECan) recommends getting an assessment before deciding to make any changes to your home or accessing financial assistance for home heating improvements. Often a significant investment can be avoided with a few tweaks in the right place.

You will receive a list of recommendations to improve the performance of your home as part of your Assessment.

Home Performance Assessments are available for free for Christchurch City Council ratepayers or are subsided for some others living in Canterbury or South Canterbury.

Warmer Kiwi Homes Tool

Find out if you are eligible for a grant for heating or home insulation and connect with a service provider for a no-obligation quote.

Page last updated: 14/06/2021

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