Contributing to Auckland’s Healthy Homes Initiative

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Beacon has been contributing our skills and expertise to a team undertaking a co-design process to find community-led solutions to housing issues in South Auckland.

Funded by the Ministry of Health, the team is taking a user-centred approach to developing improvements to the Healthy Homes Initiatives in Auckland.

Set up by Auckland Council’s The Southern Initiative, the team is working with users of the initiative and other stakeholders to develop a range of solutions and system changes to reduce overcrowding and make homes warmer, drier and healthier.

Amongst the issues the team has looked at are:

  • overcrowding
  • rheumatic fever
  • difficulties in engaging landlords in improvements

The co-design put the users - the families involved with the Healthy Homes Initiatives - at the centre, asking what were their drivers, and what were their needs? The co-design approach involves taking participants through the process of gathering insights, developing ideas and testing if they are useable. The team has used interviews with homeowners to visually map the experience and journey for whānau, coordinators as well as landlords.  Stakeholder workshops have proved a rich source of ideas for possible ways to address issues.

Possible solutions being tested include:

  • A letter to landlords linking the house condition to health of tenants from the District Health Board
  • A school drive for curtains
  • Quality curtain installation
  • A prototype complex repair service for landlords.

Healthy Homes Initiatives were set up by the Ministry of Health to reduce household crowding and household transmission of strep throat bacteria. The first initiative was set up in Auckland in 2013 and in 2015, the initiative was expanded to Northland, Waikato, Wellington, Lakes, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti DHB regions.