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Lower Hutt residents and landlords are ignoring free insulation

Jul 10th, 2014 | By | Category: Lead Story, News

corinneethanFREE HOUSING insulation is being ignored by many Lower Hutt residents and the council is frustrated about getting the message across.

The Warm up New Zealand programme message for warmer, drier and healthier homes is being pushed by the Hutt City Council through cold calling and door knocking.

However not enough people are getting the information, says council eco design advisor Sarah Firth.

Residents who have taken up the offer are praising the results.

Wainuiomata’s Corinne Cobb (RIGHT) says having her home insulated was great for both her and her son’s health.

“There was constant mould in all the bedrooms, I have wooden floors in the living area and cold air and draughts were always felt through small holes and cracks”, she says.

Miss Cobb also has a heat pump which would need to be on constantly and when she woke up in the morning her blankets would be damp.

“My son was constantly sick with coughs and colds, but now the house stays warm and there aren’t any wet blankets.”

Miss Cobb says the heat pump now warms the whole house, her son has been sick far less and there is minimum mould.

“I’m very happy,” she says.

Mrs Firth says it’s been hard to find out who needs help because some home owners don’t know if their house has been insulated at all.

She says the council has taken many approaches to get homes insulated including door knocking and cold calling to see if the occupant is eligible for the free scheme.

The scheme has been running since 2013 and will continue to run into 2016, but because it is government funded the money is finite.

“We are trying to get as many people to take up the offer as possible because there’s a limited amount of funding,” Mrs Firth says.

“We want as many homes done as we can before it’s not funded anymore.”

warmuplogoinpostMrs Firth says she is a firm believer that insulation makes a difference, as she moved from an uninsulated house to one that had ceiling insulation and thought it was great.

The money allocations differ from region to region based on the people who want to do the insulations and there is a pool of money that will be used up says Mrs Firth.

“There is also a free eligibility test, the main barrier is getting people to know about it, and getting people to be happy with someone coming into their home,” she says.

The Warm up New Zealand project which started last September has insulated 720 homes in the Hutt Valley region.

Homes are eligible for the Warm up New Zealand scheme if:
• The home was built before 2000, and
• the home owner or main tenant has a Community Services Card, and
• There are children under 17 years old, or people over 65 years old, or someone with high health needs living in the home, or
• a landlord with eligible tenants



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  1. Awesome article Nicole. You have definately got a huuuuge future in Journalism! You’re gonna be a TV Star!


  2. Would love free insulation in my home.

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