Government investing $500m into upgrading, renewing state homes: NZGBC Response

30 July 2020

Upgrading our old housing stock is a must and something the entire country deserves, the New Zealand Green Building Council says.

Today’s $500 million announcement for retrofitting state houses is a great step towards ensuring New Zealanders around the country have warm, dry, healthy places to live. This is good example of what is possible with our older homes.

The NZGBC were thrilled when the Government announced earlier this year that all new Kāinga Ora homes would be built to a higher standard with Homestar. However, one in five New Zealand homes are cold and mouldy and there is an aging housing stock which is leaving our whanau sick.

“It's excellent that 1500 old state homes will be brought up to a standard where those living there can thrive. With an estimated 40,000 homes in need of this – we’ve got to get moving,” NZGBC chief executive Andrew Eagles says.

”Now the Government needs to rapidly expand the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme if they’re really serious about improving housing for all Kiwis. Doing so would have huge benefits for families, their household bills, their health, and would provide a welcome jobs and economic boost too.”

Research has found occupants of retrofitted houses are less likely to be admitted to hospital for respiratory conditions and have fewer sick days off school and work. Policies to improve existing homes significantly outperform other government policies on benefit cost ratios. Research of the Government’s Healthy Homes Initiative has shown healthy housing interventions are paid back within two years and have ongoing benefit for years afterwards.

“Helping New Zealanders into homes that are actually fit for purpose is a no-brainer. Let’s get going.”