New Warmer Healthier Homes chairman Leeson Baldey cuts the celebratory cake with former chair Bill Dahlberg after the organisation insulated its 1000th home last month. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Charity insulates 1000th home


A local organisation wants to ensure every Kiwi has a warm, dry, healthy home.

Nelson’s Warmer Healthier Homes has been subsidising insulation projects in the region since 2014 and the initiative recently insulated its 1000th home.

About 20 people gathered at BNZ on Trafalgar St on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the milestone and farewell outgoing chairman Bill Dahlberg.

Bill is giving up the reins after five years at the organisation.

“I’m stepping down having done 1000 homes and with over 400k in the bank, so I feel pretty proud about that.”

The cost of insulating a home is about $2700 on average, but can be as much as $6000 due to a variable of factors.

WHH receive government grants, council funds and fundraise for donations to help subsidise at least 50 per cent of insulation projects around the city.

“People feel safe giving us the money, but our challenge is we don’t have enough referrals at the moment.”

Bill and his team have gone into the community to ensure they ‘get right where the need is.’

He says of the 1005 homes they have insulated, about 2000 people had health issues.

Bill says, when he heard children were needing steroids for respiratory issues because of damp homes, he knew he was doing meaningful work.

“They are given steroids to get them through winter, when I went back to these homes, three out of four kids had no issues the next winter, that told me we are doing the right thing.”

Bill says every dollar that WHH invest saves about $30 in health bills, doctors visits and time off work.

“If you put the foundation down the building stands, and after five years we’ve got a pretty good building.”

The Warmer Healthier Homes project began in Nelson region four years ago with a partnership between Rata Foundation, the Nelson Tasman Housing Trust, Nelson Marlborough Health, and Nelson City Council, with further funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Leeson Baldey will be replacing Bill as chair of WHH.

“It’s clear that without Bill WHH wouldn’t be where it is today, 1000 in five years is an amazing success.”

Leeson says Bill leaves very big shoes to fill and he looks forward to continuing WHH’s success.