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DHB funding for healthier homes
Waikato District Health Board is allocating $1 million over the next two years to create warmer, healthier homes for Waikato families.
The Ministry of Health has also allocated an extra $300,000 to the scheme for Taumarunui, Tokoroa and Waitomo.
Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority matches this funding with a further $1,950,000, making a total of $3,250,000 over the two years.
The Healthy Homes Initiative, a joint scheme with EECA will retrofit more than 700 homes in the first year with insulation, a hot water cylinder wrap, pipe lagging, draught excluders and energy saving light bulbs.
The retrofit work will be free for homeowner occupiers who meet the criteria.
Waikato DHB Planning and Funding general manager Brett Paradine said Hamilton, South Waikato and Ruapehu would see most of the funding because they are the areas in greatest need that are not already being funded.
"This funding will not only create warmer, healthier homes for winter but will also address three of the DHB's health priorities - health of elderly, Maori and Pacific families and areas of socioeconomic deprivation.
"Respiratory disease is the most likely result of a poorly insulated house and young children, along with the elderly, are the groups who are most at risk from the disease," Mr Paradine said.
For a homeowner and occupier to be eligible for the scheme they need to own a home that is more than nine years old (built before 2000), be eligible for a Community Services Card and either:
▪ live with a family member who is under six or over 65 years of age; or
Landlords are also eligible if their tenants meet these criteria, but will be charged $500+GST.
"We're delighted to have Waikato DHB on board and are proud to be playing a part in helping them address health inequalities.
"This extra support will allow low-income households, who may have had difficulty accessing a home grant, to now receive a retrofit for their home," he said.
Funding is still available for homes in Hamilton, Taumarunui and the Waitomo District Council areas for the 2008/09 programme.
The programme has already allocated all available funding for Tokoroa homes in the 2008/09 programme but will have more for the 2009/10 year.
Both Mr Paradine and Mr Underhill are encouraging people in the priority areas to take full advantage of this funding and apply.
"We've already been overwhelmed with applications from Tokoroa but are keen to see more from the other areas," said Mr Paradine.
For those wanting to apply, local numbers to call are:
▪ Hamilton 0508 466 373 or 0800 400 326
Date: 11 May 2009