Cold homes harm NZ youth health and schooling

Feb 13, 2017 | Research

The article in the journal Social Science and Medicine – Population Health by Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan at He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme was co-authored by researchers from the University of Otago and more unusually, young researchers from Waiopehu College in Levin, Horowhenua.

Together the youth and adult researchers developed a nationwide survey of youth, which was completed by 656 Year 10 students from 17 schools across the country. Interviews carried out using email supported and expanded on the survey findings.

Almost half of the survey respondents (47 per cent) felt their home was sometimes cold during the winter; a further 40 per cent felt their home was often or always cold. This is almost double the number of adults reporting their home is often or always cold from a recent Statistics NZ survey. More than two-thirds of respondents (70 per cent) had shivered inside at least once during winter. More than one in eight youths (13.2 per cent) were contributing to paying for the household bills.

Young people from around the country made such comments as they “get stressed about homework because it’s too cold to do it, too cold to think”. They also described having bedrooms that were cold enough that they avoided using them, studying in other rooms of the house, and sometimes sleeping in the lounge.

Students from Waiopehu College involved in this research will present these results and more tomorrow at the 21st Public Health Summer School at the University of Otago, Wellington.

“Year 10s told us their homes are cold, it is an issue for them, and they want Government to fix it. We feel it’s important to be involved in the research process and to make sure that youth voices are heard, so we’re happy to be presenting the results and making them publicly available.” Kelly Carline, Year 12 student of Waiopehu College says.

“This research has found that as well as the previously identified problems with keeping well physically and mentally, cold housing has youth-specific outcomes like affecting social and family relationships and whether they can comfortably do their homework.” says Dr O’Sullivan. “Time and again our research finds that living in private rental housing increases the risk of experiencing living in cold homes and fuel poverty. Young people are adding their voices to the calls for Government to do more to improve the quality of housing and access to affordable heating.”

The paper is available here.

Recent articles

Annual Report

CHA’s 2020/21 Annual Report

CHA’s 2020/21 Annual Report

Strategic Plan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

Featured Network

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Our Place

Our Place Report 2017

Our Place Report 2017

Case Studies

Media Releases

News

How community housing can mend our fraying fabric

NZ's social housing register has quadrupled in size since 2017 and big changes to mindsets over house building and housing affordability are needed, writes Community Housing Aotearoa chief executive Vic Crockford in The Newsroom. Click here to read more. 

Anti-Social Behaviour notes Nov 21

Tenants Protection Association (Chch) Inc. Notes for presentation at Tenancy Management Community of Practice Nov 2021 Anti-Social Behaviour notes Nov 21

Newsletters

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 22 August 2022

Welcome new CHA team members, Newsroom opinion piece: Unlocking home ownership, Podcast out now, Our Conference is coming back, CHA Comms lead wins journalism award, Tenancy Management Code of Practice, Research Webinar, Sustaining tenancies or swift evictions? Job...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 8 August 2022

Development Pipeline Platform, Climate Change policy, MBIE and MHUD Building for Climate Change program, Powerful Partners (International delegation visit) Power Housing Australia, Right at Home episode two: Progressive Home Ownership, Council collaboration paves way...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 25 July 2022

We pay tribute to Ricky Houghton's lifetime work legacy, a great  well respected leader a huge loss for our sector and Tai Tokerau community, Acknowledgement and farewell to Bernie Smith another strong leader and advocate all the best on your new journey,...

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter 11 July 2022

Our CEO Vic Crockford reflects on matariki and the current situation with Covid. Our new Community Housing Aotearoa podcast is out - with the first episode featuring interviews with Dwell Housing Trust and CORT's respective chief executives and Penina Housing Trust...

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter 27 June 2022

Our CEO Vic Crockford reflects on our past, while looking forward, Dwell Housing Trust's board is recognised for their sterling efforts, new research highlights NZ's ongoing housing challenges. Upcoming events include; the Community Housing Aotearoa MSD Training...

Submissions

Legislation

Reports

Research

Community Housing Aotearoa

Contact Us

Contact Info

Level 11, Ranchhod Tower,
39 The Terrace /
102-112 Lambton Quay
PO Box 11543
Wellington 6142

+04 385 8722

support@communityhousing.org.nz

Follow On