Existing homes

Helping Healthy Homes Initiatives

Beacon’s Glenda Lock has been part of a co-design process to explore housing-related interventions to create warm, dry, healthy homes for Auckland’s Healthy Homes Initiatives. We have also been developing a standardised training manual for HHI assessors.

The co-design

AWHI was the first Healthy Homes Initiative set up by the Ministry of Health as part of the Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme to reduce household crowding and the subsequent transmission of strep throat bacteria (which can lead to rheumatic fever).   It covers the Counties Manukau DHB area. Since then, Healthy Homes Initiatives have expanded to Northland, Auckland and Waitakere (Kāinga Ora), Waikato, Wellington, Lakes, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti District Health Board regions.

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 team developed insights from interviewing families and those involved in the Healthy Homes Initiatives. 

The interventions

Ideas trialled through the co-design were:

  • A letter to landlords from the District Health Board identifying that the health of tenants may be linked to the house condition
  • Minor Repair Service to undertake low cost and high impact minor home repairs for private rentals and low income home-owners.  This includes a landlord liaison role to strengthen the landlord’s understanding and buy-in to the improvements needed.  
  • Working with Auckland Council Compliance and MBIE Tenancy Compliance and Investigations teams to test how to best to ensure properties are brought up to standard.
  • Building capacity and capability within existing curtain banks including Auckland-wide curtain drives to boost the available stock
  • Home performance training for Healthy Homes Initiative assessors – including simple and practical tips on making a home warmer and drier based on science and expertise.
  • A locality-based ‘peer to peer’ empowerment model of home performance knowledge – supporting Kootuitui Ki Papakura with the whānau-led Ko Huiamano initiative
  • Testing whether a power voucher and education would help families to heat their homes more in winter.
  • Leveraging other resources to support families such as Healthy Rentals.