Media release: Southland District Council welcomes investment in warmer homes

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Southland District Council has welcomed a multi-million dollar commitment by the Government to help make Kiwi homes healthier.

A $142 million-dollar, four-year programme, known as Warmer Kiwi Homes, was rolled out as part of the Government’s Budget announcement last week.

Council’s environmental health manager Michael Sarfaiti says a number of Southlanders would benefit from the package, which will make the homes of lower-income New Zealanders warmer, drier and healthier by providing grants to insulate and heat their houses.

“Southlanders often face cold weather conditions and many people, especially young children, the elderly and those in low-income households are particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of living in unhealthy homes,” Mr Sarfaiti says.

“Cold and damp houses are a real issue right across New Zealand, including in the Southland district, and can lead to preventable diseases like asthma and rheumatic fever. That places a huge burden not just on those families but on our health system, so it is fantastic to see more investment being made to address these issues.”

From 1 July this year, Southlanders will be able to apply for grants to help make their homes warmer – the first year of the programme will focus on ceiling and underfloor insulation as a key priority for creating warmer, drier homes.

Lower-income homeowners will be able to access funding to cover two thirds of the cost of installing ceiling and underfloor insulation, Mr Sarfaiti says.

Warmer Kiwi Homes will be delivered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Grants to install heating appliances will be available from July next year.

The EECA estimates 52,000 houses throughout New Zealand will be insulated or have a heating appliance installed during the four years of the programme.
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