The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ensures an estimated 9,000 additional New Zealand houses will be Warmer Kiwi Homes with a $56 million boost to the Government’s insulation and heating programme, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said.
“Insulation and heating helps to prevent respiratory illness, and the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme protects the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“Over 20,000 insulation and heating retrofits have already been delivered since Warmer Kiwi Homes was launched in July 2018 and today’s announcement will ensure more low income people will get a chance to have a warmer, drier, healthier home.”
“The existing programme already covers two-thirds of the cost of insulation and/or heating retrofits, but we know that coming up with the rest of the money to get retrofits done, is still out of reach for many low-income people and families.
“That’s why we are increasing the grant proportion available for low-income households from 67% to 90% of the costs of an insulation and/or heating retrofit to deliver an estimated 9,000 additional retrofits.
“We’re also proud of the significant third-party funding that has been leveraged through the programme to date. With the Government now meeting 90% of the cost, we expect that topups from third-party community organisations will make retrofits free of charge to many applicants."
The Warmer Kiwi Homes programme is part of Labour’s Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Green Party.
The Greens’ Housing Spokesperson Marama Davidson says ensuring low-income people are not shut out of well insulated homes with good, efficient heating sources is vital.
“By insulating homes and providing efficient heating systems, we’re helping to ensure that no one is forced to live in a cold, damp home, which we know leads to poor health outcomes.
“Investing in quality insulation and efficient systems is a win for people, the planet, and the economy. This investment has long been advocated for by the Greens.”
Minister Woods says Warmer Kiwi Homes also provides a lot of jobs and is good for the New Zealand economy.
“90 companies are contracted to deliver Warmer Kiwi Homes and employ over 1,300 contractors across their businesses.
“Today’s announcement will provide confidence in the viability of this important sector as we recover from the impact of COVID-19.
“It’s also worth pointing out that over 90% of the insulation products installed through Warmer Kiwi Homes are manufactured in New Zealand. By driving more activity through the programme we are supporting jobs up the sector’s supply chain,” said Megan Woods.