Effects of minor household interventions on social housing quality

Nov 6, 2017 | Research


The research was commissioned by the Wellington City Council in response to concerns about draughts in the newly constructed Marshall Court apartments in Miramar. Photo: Wellington City Council

This study was conducted by Lara Rangiwhetu, Nevil Pierse & Philippa Howden-Chapman of Department of Public Health, Otago University.

This exploratory study’s objectives were to determine:

(1) whether the interventions influenced indoor temperature,

(2) the extent to which indoor temperature changed and

(3) benefits to the tenants.

The before-and-after rapid response study was conducted in five social housing units. Indoor temperature was subjectively and objectively measured. Using multivariate normal linear regression, units were found to be on average 1.36°C warmer post-intervention after adjusting for outdoor temperature. Tenants’ daily diary entries also claimed units were warmer post-intervention. Simple minor interventions to block draughts made a relatively big difference to indoor temperature and comfort of those living there. Such interventions are worthwhile, especially when housing is tenanted by vulnerable populations.

Read the full research report here.

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