Scheme to insulate homes of poor

Last updated 12:59 01/08/2014

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A targeted group of low-income families in Nelson will soon have warmer, drier homes through a scheme to insulate houses, backed by a significant community grant.

The Canterbury Community Trust has committed $300,000 over two years to the new Warmer Healthier Homes Project for the Nelson region.

The trust has partnered with the Nelson Tasman Housing Trust, Absolute Energy, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) in a project aimed at providing low-income families, particularly those with high health risks, with warmer, more insulated homes, community trust lead trustee Bill Dahlberg said. The trust has made the $300,000 commitment to the project through its Nelson special fund. The project team has also received an allocation of EECA funding towards the project in the first year.

The Nelson Tasman Housing Trust has been contracted to manage the project with guidance from the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board which completed a similar project some years ago. The Nelson Bays Primary Health organisation is assisting with the selection and delivery system, Dahlberg said.

The project will be delivered through local provider Absolute Energy.

The retrofitting of insulation and draught proofing materials in the first year will be carried out on a targeted 100 homes. The wider project is intended to be a two to three-year programme with other interested groups encouraged to be involved.

Initially the available funding is targeted for health-related referrals via the DHB.

Dahlberg said the needs of low-income tenants of private sector landlords had been recognised as a serious issue by the trust and DHB, and ways of engaging landlords with the scheme and contributing to installation costs were being actively considered.

"The Canterbury Community Trust believes the way forward is forming partnerships and working in collaboration with other funders and service providers so that we can better target the people in our community most at need and get the most tangible and measurable outcomes for the dollars spent," he said.

Dahlberg and retiring community trust trustee Max Spence came up with the idea and have worked hard to make it happen.

Spence said the joint venue would provide access on a wider level to more families living in homes that were poorly insulated.

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- The Nelson Mail

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