We are aiming to work with over 500 homes in the Bay of Plenty by the end of 2023, with a vision for each of these homes to reach 20°C. To do that, we will follow the below process:
1. Home assessment
First, we receive a referral from social/health and community agencies, the DHB’s, or through self-referrals. We then make contact with the home occupant to arrange a home assessment.
A key referral programme to 20 degrees is the Healthy Homes Initiative, run by the DHB this initiative offers a range of interventions and advice to help with a healthy and safe home: beds, bedding, curtains, heating, safety devices.
We then visit the home and together with the whānau/families identify the issues preventing the home from reaching 20°C. This can be things like significant structural concerns such as rotting floors or dilapidated roofs, repairs and maintenance needed like broken windows, draughts and leaks, having the right insulation or heating, or behaviours that need to be changed around moisture management, ventilation and heating.
Whilst we alone can't resolve all the issues preventing the home from reaching 20°C, we develop a plan with the whānau/family that involves us together working with them and other appropriate agencies to resolve as many of the issues as possible.
2. Collaborate and connect
Next, we collaborate with other appropriate housing programmes and connect home occupants with any services or subsidies available. For those in rental accommodation we will help with advice and advocacy, landlords are expected to cover the costs of any fixes.
Existing programmes we collaborate with include the Government’s Warmer Kiwi Homes, the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Homes Initiative, Ministry of Social Development grants, Te Puni Kokiri Māori Housing Network, and Whānau Ora.
3. Fix unresolved issues
We then seek to fill the gaps of any issues left unresolved, typically the minor repairs and maintenance, by fixing these at no or low cost to home occupants.
To make the fixes, we either send to the home our own handyman team or if the situation is more complex, a contracted trade professional.
The challenge of improving a home to achieve 20°C is complex and often there are many unresolved issues, but we don't give up easily. We acknowledge that the 20°C goal is a journey where we need to work with the whānau/family over a period of time to pick off the issues one by one.
Working with the whānau/family to address the issues together is a key premise of the programme.
Lastly, we invite participants to a healthy home workshop. Participants learn through DIY lessons such as secondary glazing, draught-proofing, and lining curtains, building the knowledge and skills needed to maintain and keep homes healthy after their homes have been repaired/improved. Workshops also reinforce healthy home behaviours such as moisture management, preventing heat loss, addressing mould, heating economically.
A range of workshops are available, enabling communities to request a workshop that will address the skills that they would like to learn. Request a workshop here.
Through the workshops, participants can also undertake repairs directly on a house, learning as they go. This not only means homes get fixed, but local DIY confidence is developed and participants can then encourage other whānau/families.
Through this process of assessment, collaboration, action and education, it is our vision that our homes will not only be healthy, resulting in fewer 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.