Dr Jean Simpson, Carrie Mozena, Leeson Baldey and Margaret Gibbs celebrate Warmer Healthier Homes’ 2000th insulation. Photo: Erin Bradnock.

Nelson healthy homes celebrated

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A project dedicated to making the homes of those in the Top of the South warmer and healthier to live in has just celebrated its 2000th insulation.

Warmer Healthier Homes Nelson – Marlborough has been subsidising insulation projects in the region since 2014.

Project chairman Leeson Baldey says it’s an amazing achievement for the programme.

“It’s 2000 families living in healthy homes.”

The project began in partnership between Rata Foundation, Nelson Tasman Housing Trust, Nelson City Council, and Nelson Marlborough DHB to address unhealthy homes in the region.

Insulating a home typically costs between $2,500 to $5000 in New Zealand.

Over 30 people gathered at The Boathouse last Thursday to celebrate the milestone.

Henry Nepia of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority says they don’t often get to celebrate the wins.

“And there’s been a lot of them over the years.”

Henry acknowledged the work still to be done, saying the authority is still getting up to 1000 inquires for insulations a week.

Project founder and former chairman Bill Dahlberg was instrumental in the project’s founding and success and says it was aimed at addressing vulnerable communities who frequented health care because of cold and damp homes.

Bill says meeting the families who receive the insulation is the best thing about the work.

“I remember I went back to one family six months later, who couldn’t believe the difference a dry house makes.”

Nelson’s deputy mayor Judene Edgar says the project was a natural fit for the council to address shortages in quality housing in the region.

“Housing is critically important. Everyone deserves to have a healthy home,” she says.

“It’s a model that works and is surpassing their expectations.