With winter just around the corner, it’s time to think about how prepared you are for the chilly months.
If you find it hard to keep your home warm and dry, your local board might have a solution for you.
The Healthy Rental project is funded by the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki, Papakura, Puketāpapa, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu and Whau Local Boards and provides support for tenants and landlords to create warmer, drier rentals.
Auckland Council’s Low Carbon Specialist in the Environmental Services Unit, Liz Ross, says the project is for those tenants who meet certain criteria and live within the local board areas of Maungakiekie-Tāmaki, Papakura, Puketāpapa, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu and Whau.
“If your house is hard to keep warm or has problems with mould and you’re on a low income or a member of the household has health conditions related to cold, damp housing then you may well be eligible. Now is the time to get on to it – so don’t delay in applying.”
The project provides successful applicants free resources, advice and installations of LED bulbs, hot water cylinder wraps, thermostat controllers, hot water saving devices, draught stopping and curtains - all of which can save energy and shave hundreds of dollars off power bills.
Attitudes changed, houses made warmer
Habitat For Humanity do much of the installation work for the project. One of the charity’s main installers, Yukio Hirabayashi, says it’s been very rewarding seeing people gain the knowledge and skills to ensure their homes are warmer and drier.
“We’ve seen a change of attitude in the people we’ve done work with. They come to understand what a big difference these small alterations can make,” he says.
Building Services manager for Habitat For Humanity James Davis, says many of the houses they visit are extremely cold and damaged from dampness.
“Typically the houses won’t have any insulation and so there would be a lot of mould formed on the ceiling. As a result, the tenants have respiratory issues, asthma and their kids will be missing lots of school due to being sick, so part of our job is providing a report to the landlord on insulation levels and the like, and available forms of financial assistance. We also help tenants understand how things like using curtains effectively, and ventilating can make their homes a lot warmer and drier.”
Go to the Healthy Rentals website for more information about registering for the programme.
How can I help?
You can also support those living in these conditions by donating curtains and Habitat for Humanity and Ecomatters will upcycle them and install them in homes.
To donate curtains, drop them off at these locations:
- Ecomatters, 1 Olympic Place, New Lynn, Mon–Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-1pm
- Vision West, 97 Glendale Rd, Glen Eden, Mon–Fri 9am-5pm
- Kaipatiki Centre, 17 Lauderdale Rd, Birkdale, anytime (the collection bins are outside)
- Greenstar Energy Solutions, 26 Grayson Ave, Papatoetoe, Mon–Fri 10am-3pm
- Habitat for Humanity, 8 Ormiston Rd, Mon–Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm
- Point Chevalier Community Centre, 18 Huia Rd, Tue 9am-4.30pm, Wed 9am-6pm, Thu and Fri 9am-4.30pm
- Orakei Community Centre, 156 Kepa Road, Mon 9am-4pm, Tue–Fri 9am-12pm.