20 Degrees is a vision to ensure Bay of Plenty homes can achieve and sustain a healthy temperature of 20°C on a cold winter's night.
The programme is delivered by Sustainability Options, who visit the homes of those struggling with cold, damp and poor housing conditions. The team identify the issues preventing homes from reaching 20°C and seek to develop a plan to work with the whānau / families to address these.
To solve these problems, 20 Degrees works with other available programmes, connecting home occupants with any services or subsidies that may help improve their housing conditions and living situation. 20 Degrees then fills the gaps of any issues left unresolved, typically the minor repairs and maintenance, by fixing these at no or low cost to home occupants.
The focus of the programme is to support whānau/families in addressing repairs and maintenance issues such as; insulation, broken windows, draughts, leaks, curtains, heating, bathroom extraction, and behaviours that support a warm and dry home such as moisture management, ventilation, draught control, controlling heat losses and cost-effective heating.
A prerequisite for the programme is that participants must be open to engaging with the education component of 20 Degrees – workshops and DIY skill sessions that build the knowledge needed to keep homes healthy after these interventions are completed.
Through this it is hoped that homes will not only be healthy, resulting in less hospital admissions and reduced costs to the health system, but a shift in housing culture can be achieved; one where 20°C is the only acceptable minimum temperature within households.