Your home influences and affects the health of you and your family

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.

Community and Public Health’s housing goal is to try to reduce the risk factors in homes that lead to illness and in some cases a trip to hospital.

Toy house with a woollen scarf wrapped around its base.Community and Public Health works with other organisations to achieve this goal – providing information and services about housing – or have higher numbers of struggling households to help. This includes:

  • local and regional councils,
  • Community Energy Action,
  • Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi,
  • Age Concern,
  • Pegasus Health,
  • Tenants Protection Association, and
  • University of Otago.

We also encourage staff across the Canterbury District Health Board to remember that housing may be a problem for some patients and to help them access some practical help. We all know that it hasn’t been easy for homeowners or tenants in Christchurch over the past three years and it will take a long time to get things right.

Find out the 2009 results of the Warm Families housing insulation programme run by Community and Public Health.

The basics of a healthy home

Experts agree that a healthy home is one that is safe, warm and dry and in good repair. Basically a house where a family isn’t at risk of housing-related illnesses by living there.

Evidence shows that many houses have flaws that can lead to increased health risks. The main flaws are cold damp homes, and damaged or rundown houses. Homes that are too small for the number of people living there are also an issue since it is hard to be happy and well in a crowded home.

Call the Home Energy Advice Line (0800 388 588) to find out about programmes to assist those on low-incomes to insulate and heat their homes during winter.

Discover the Canterbury DHB’s position on home heating and air quality (Healthy Christchurch).

Arrange for a Home Energy Check – expert and impartial advice that is free if you have a Community Services Card.

Find out about the Ministry of Social Development’s housing assistance services (for use by GPs and other health professionals).



For further information, contact:

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

Contact one of the following agencies for further information:

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

Housing New Zealand
Ph: 0800 801 601

Tenants Protection Association
Ph: +64 3 379 2297

Tenancy Services
Ph: 0800 836 262

Christchurch City Council
Ph: +64 3 941 8666

Get assistance from the Build Back Smarter Advisory Service

People in the Greater Christchurch rebuilding or repairing their earthquake damaged homes can now get free advice to ensure they are warm, dry and energy efficient.

Build Back Smarter is a free service providing advice about insulation, heating methods and energy saving measures such as double glazing, ventilation and lighting.

The advisory service is a joint initiative involving the Christchurch City Council, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

Homeowners and landlords can contact one of the service’s assessment providers who will prepare a healthy home improvement plan tailored to the needs and budget of the home owner.

Visit the Build Back Smarter website for more information on how to get a free assessment and other assistance.

Build Back Smarter: Warm, dry, healthy homes.

Page last updated: 05/08/2019

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