Trust manager focused on making homes warm

Jeremy Baker
Jeremy Baker
Recently appointed Cosy Homes Trust project manager Jeremy Baker is focused on strengthening the trust’s mission of making Otago homes warm and cosy.

Mr Baker, who took over as project manager in late February, said the recent boost in Government funding for the Warmer Kiwi Homes scheme would allow more people to access support for insulation and heating.

"With the grants now covering up to 90% of the cost for eligible households, and additional funding from the Otago Community Trust and Dunedin City Council, some will be able to install insulation and heating totally free," Mr Baker said.

As part of the Covid-19 recovery, he was hoping the Government would decide to fund more "retrofits", which would have the dual effect of supporting local businesses and improving the city’s housing stock.

For homeowners who were not eligible for the Government funding, the Warm Dunedin Targeted Rates programme allowed them to spread out the cost of insulation over 10 years, he said.

"And a number of banks have brought in low-cost or no-cost loans for insulation and heating upgrades for mortgage holders."

With winter now in full swing, he was being contacted by more people looking for information on the national and local funding schemes, which was a good thing, Mr Baker said.

"One of the most common questions I get from people is whether they can top up their old insulation, and the answer is yes — especially if the house was insulated pre-2005."

A map of Dunedin, based on "deprivation zones", was also available and could influence whether homes were eligible for funding or not.

Before taking over the role of Cosy Homes Trust project manager, Mr Baker worked as the Dunedin City Council’s energy plan co-ordinator.

"One of the eight action areas for the plan was Cosy Homes, so I got to know the trust well," he said.

"I believe it does important work, and it is closely aligned to my interests in sustainable housing, energy efficiency and social justice."

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