Housing New Zealand tenant Kerry Soroka inspects the
condition of her Corstorphine home. Photo by Dan
Some state-housing tenants are slipping through the
cracks when it comes to getting proper insulation in their
Kerry Soroka's Corstorphine Housing New Zealand house has
gaps in the floor and windows of one bedroom, some rot in the
weatherboards and only a thin sheet of foil for insulation
under the floor.
After being contacted by The Star this week, Housing New
Zealand inspected the property and agreed to fix a
weatherboard, the cracks in the floor and install an
extractor fan in the bathroom.
The insulation would stay though - despite the material used
being considered inadequate by government agency the Energy
Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA).
Housing New Zealand area manager Kate Milton said ceiling
insulation and the foil insulation under the floor was
installed in 2007, when it was a ''commonly used'' product,
and it would not be replaced.
EECA is busy handing out millions of dollars in free or
subsidised insulation packages to low-income home owners and
private renters, including a promotion being run by Dunedin
group Cosy Homes.
Cosy Homes has funding to completely insulate or upgrade the
existing insulation on 1500 Dunedin houses, free of charge,
over the next few months but has only signed up 200 people in
the past three weeks.
If Miss Soroka had been renting privately she would qualify
for the Cosy Homes promotion and upgraded insulation.
Housing New Zealand tenants do not qualify for that free
insulation scheme but Ms Milton said the corporation had
spent $76 million nationwide improving the quality of 49,000
of its houses over the last few years.
EECA subsidies are provided only if the entire house is
insulated to at least the standard stipulated in the New
Building Code amendments, which banned foil-only underfloor
insulation in new, South Island homes on October 31, 2007.
Ms Milton said Miss Soroka was offered another house recently
but she turned it down. Miss Soroka said she now regretted
not taking it because, with the onset of winter, she was
again aware of how cold and damp it was.
She had shifted her 7-year-old daughter out of her bedroom
for the winter and into the lounge - for the fourth year in a
row - because the damp and cold was giving her asthma.