Hospital admissions increase due to cold, damp homes

20 July 2017

We all know a cold, damp home is unhealthy, and a Manawatu doctor says hospital re-admissions are increasing.

Most of us know that cold, damp homes are unhealthy to live in and are worse for young children, the elderly or those with respiratory illnesses.

Radio NZ has reported on this issue, including an interview with a Manawatu doctor who says children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. Read more about the Radio NZ report, including the article from the Manawatu doctor here.

Subsidies & Finance to make your home healthier

Some of these illnesses can be prevented if the homes are fixed, but many patients are returning to their homes which are still cold and damp, and so the cycle continues. 
We are passionate about helping kiwis live in warm, healthy homes and are committed to helping make it affordable and reduce your power bills.

  • 50% insulation subsidies are available for owner-occupiers and tenants on low incomes, or who have a respiratory illness (as part of EECA's Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes programme);  
  • Finance options, including some councils which let you put insulation and heating costs on your rates, are available.  

Don't live in a cold home anymore. We can help.

Some interesting facts:

  • DHB Gisborne - most insulated region in the country, and has shown a 75% reduction on hospital admissions. (ref, EECA)  
  • EECA says “If your house isn't insulated or the insulation is old or needs topping up, you will struggle to stay warm."  
  • The government stated a key contributor for eradicating child poverty is a warm and healthy home.  Insulation is always the first step to creating a healthy home. (ref EECA)  
  • “For elderly, sick and the very young a minimum indoor temperature of 20 degrees C is recommended.” (World Health Organisation 1987).

The benefits of insulation are paramount*: - Over $92k a year saved in hospital admissions for respiratory illnesses - A 38% reduction in GP visits (respiratory issues) for people aged 65 and over - Over 368 days saved in reduced days off school and work due to respiratory illnesses.


* "A cost-benefit evaluation of housing insulation: results from the New Zealand Housing, Insulation and Health Study” By Dr Ralph Chapman, Associate-Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, Des O’Dea. October 2004.

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