Helping reduce harm from unhealthy homes

A healthy home is important for everyone’s health – especially for infants, older people and people ill or recovering at home. Evidence shows many houses have flaws that can lead to increased health risk.

Experts agree that a healthy home is:

  • safe, warm and dry;
  • well-ventilated;
  • in good condition – not damaged or rundown;
  • where there is enough space for all the residents – not overcrowded; and
  • designed for the abilities of the occupants.

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.

Information sheets on some housing issues for renters and homeowners

Government delivers new regime to protect renters and property owners

Beehive media release: 18th August 2023

The Government has delivered the next step to protect renters and property owners by introducing a regulatory regime for residential property managers.

Associate Housing Minister Barbara Edmonds says housing plays a fundamental role in improving the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

“Today we’ve introduced a Bill that protects renters and property owners by ensuring all residential property managers are qualified and accountable.

“Nearly one in three households rent in New Zealand with the residential property management sector responsible for around half of the rental market. Many residential property managers abide by professional standards, but there’s no current legal requirement for them to do so.

“It’s clear there’s a gap in the foundations of the sector which we need to fill. Putting safeguards in place is in the best interest of everyone – regardless of whether they’re renters or property owners,” Barbara Edmonds said.

Private and public landlords such as Kāinga Ora and registered Community Housing Providers, would not come under the proposed regime. Public housing landlords will have a Code of Conduct to follow instead. This will be developed alongside the industry standards enabled by the regime.

The Residential Property Managers Bill is now awaiting its first reading and referral to Select Committee.

Documents and Links

Home heating and seasonal concerns

Dealing with mould and damp homes

Housing standards and building energy efficient homes

Housing affordability and homelessness

Key regional documents

Key national documents

For further information, contact:

Gabrielle Baker-Clemas
Ph: +64 3 364 1777

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

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: 30/10/2023

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