Partnership providing healthier social housing
A partnership between Christchurch City Council and Community Energy Action Trust (CEA) is helping to provide healthier, more energy-efficient homes for a number of the city’s social housing tenants.
More than 220 housing units have had free insulation or thermal curtains installed through the Council–CEA partnership, with that number expected to increase to 500 units before end of June next year.
Community Housing and Economic Development Committee Chair Andrew Turner says the Council is committed to working alongside its partners to provide better social housing in Christchurch.
“Earlier this year, the Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Lifemark, signalling its commitment to building adaptable, accessible and healthy new social housing units in Christchurch.
“At the same time, through a close partnership with CEA, the Council is improving a number of its existing units by making them warmer and more energy-efficient – homes that are healthier for tenants to live in.
“By working with CEA to a targeted and prioritised programme, we’re making excellent progress on the number of housing units scheduled to be upgraded by mid-2015.”
CEA upgrades insulation and provides thermal curtains for tenants who have a current Community Services Card and are either 65 or over, have a health condition or a child under 17 living in the unit.
About 720 of the Council’s social housing tenants are currently eligible for the upgrades.
For each tenant, CEA completes a comprehensive check for ceiling insulation, under-floor insulation and energy use in the home. Where insulation is required and able to be installed, CEA meets the costs of both materials and installation.
Georgina House, who recently received new insulation at her Council unit in Halswell, says she is looking forward to lower power bills next winter.
“It will be so much warmer!” she says.
Caroline Shone, Chief Executive of Community Energy Action, says the goal is to keep Cantabrians like Georgina warm and healthy in their homes.
“As a charitable trust, we’re able to help all households improve their energy efficiency, particularly vulnerable community members who need extra assistance.
“We’re thrilled we can make a difference in the living circumstances of some very deserving clients, with free energy advice, free insulation, free curtains and other energy-efficiency measures,” adds Ms Shone.