“Too many of our homes are cold and damp, leading to preventable diseases such as rheumatic fever and asthma. That’s a burden on Kiwi families, as well as on our health system and the economy. We can and must do better,” says Megan Woods.
“Lower-income families, young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable when living in cold, damp housing. About 42,000 children go to hospital every year with infectious and respiratory diseases that are largely the result of cold, damp, mouldy homes – and 1,600 mostly older New Zealanders die prematurely each winter.
“Our plan will help tens of thousands of Kiwi households live in homes that will keep them healthy and that are better placed to raise children. The four-year programme funded by Budget 2018 will help lower-income New Zealanders stay warm by providing grants for insulating their owner-occupied homes.
“The programme will be delivered by grants from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, with $142.5 million in new operating funding over the next four years,” says Megan Woods.
“This initiative delivers on the Confidence and Supply Agreement between Labour and the Green Party, which undertook to substantially increase the number of insulated homes in New Zealand,” says James Shaw.
“As part of the 100-Day Plan, the Government passed the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill requiring landlords to properly insulate rental properties.
“Now, lower-income households living in their own homes will be eligible for grants covering two-thirds of the cost of installing ceiling and underfloor insulation. The grants will be topped up wherever possible by third-party funding to make the insulation as low-cost as possible. The first year of the programme will focus on insulation as the highest priority for creating warm, dry homes. The second phase will concentrate on heat sources,” says James Shaw.
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