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  • Healthy Homes hassle

    Healthy Homes hassle
    28 February 2006
    By LEE MATTHEWS

    Palmerston North Healthy Homes package recipient Sharyn Barker-Fonohema has been left bewildered after a tradesman told her her home was not suitable for insulation under the free scheme.

    She qualified for the free package because her cold 1960s wooden bungalow was not helping her children's health. Her three-year-old had pneumonia last winter, in spite of Mrs Barker-Fonohema running a dehumidifier and heating her house with a log burner.

    She was "rapt" to qualify for the scheme through Work and Income after being told about it by Palmerston North Hospital staff when her daughter was ill.

    "Then the guy came round to measure up the place for the insulation, and he told me that for health and safety reasons, insulation couldn't be fitted.

    "I was gutted. It's exactly what my little girl needs, to be warm in winter."

    Energy Smart operations manager Phil Hancock said not every house could be insulated with the batts-like and foil products provided for the Healthy Homes scheme.

    It was a matter of safe access: tradesmen had to be able to manoeuvre themselves and the product in the ceiling space and under the floor. He understood that Mrs Barker-Fonohema's house did not have enough space at the eaves of the house.

    One way round this would be to lift roofing iron, but this was not an option under the scheme. It would be too expensive.

    Mr Hancock has decided to give Mrs Barker-Fonohema the hot-water cylinder wrap, pipe lagging, draught stopping and energy-efficient light bulbs part of the scheme, even though the scheme's rules now say these can't be given unless the insulation goes in.

    He found that her application lacked the fine-print clause explaining this. He will put that right on future applications. People needed to know that their houses had to qualify for the free package, as well as their personal circumstances.

    To qualify, houses generally needed a minimum of 450mm to 500mm underfloor clearance, plus good access to get the product under the house.

    Mrs Barker-Fonohema's house is only 350mm off the ground, and the roof has a very low rake.

    "We will always have to assess houses for suitability," Mr Hancock said. "A style of house that doesn't qualify is the flat-roofed art deco style from the 1930s, or houses on concrete pads."

    He said the problem of lack of access was unusual. Hundreds of houses had been successfully insulated all round New Zealand, helping improve family health through living in warmer, drier conditions. Each package is worth up to $2500.

    The Healthy Homes project is a scheme where people who have community services cards and sick children can get their houses made energy efficient, for free. People who qualify and who have suitable houses get underfloor and ceiling insulation, hot water cylinders and pipes lagged, draught proofing and weather stripping installed, and three energy-efficient light bulbs given.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/manawat...6003,00.html28 February 2006
    By LEE MATTHEWS

    Palmerston North Healthy Homes package recipient Sharyn Barker-Fonohema has been left bewildered after a tradesman told her her home was not suitable for insulation under the free scheme.

    She qualified for the free package because her cold 1960s wooden bungalow was not helping her children's health. Her three-year-old had pneumonia last winter, in spite of Mrs Barker-Fonohema running a dehumidifier and heating her house with a log burner.

    She was "rapt" to qualify for the scheme through Work and Income after being told about it by Palmerston North Hospital staff when her daughter was ill.

    "Then the guy came round to measure up the place for the insulation, and he told me that for health and safety reasons, insulation couldn't be fitted.

    "I was gutted. It's exactly what my little girl needs, to be warm in winter."

    Energy Smart operations manager Phil Hancock said not every house could be insulated with the batts-like and foil products provided for the Healthy Homes scheme.

    It was a matter of safe access: tradesmen had to be able to manoeuvre themselves and the product in the ceiling space and under the floor. He understood that Mrs Barker-Fonohema's house did not have enough space at the eaves of the house.

    One way round this would be to lift roofing iron, but this was not an option under the scheme. It would be too expensive.

    Mr Hancock has decided to give Mrs Barker-Fonohema the hot-water cylinder wrap, pipe lagging, draught stopping and energy-efficient light bulbs part of the scheme, even though the scheme's rules now say these can't be given unless the insulation goes in.

    He found that her application lacked the fine-print clause explaining this. He will put that right on future applications. People needed to know that their houses had to qualify for the free package, as well as their personal circumstances.

    To qualify, houses generally needed a minimum of 450mm to 500mm underfloor clearance, plus good access to get the product under the house.

    Mrs Barker-Fonohema's house is only 350mm off the ground, and the roof has a very low rake.

    "We will always have to assess houses for suitability," Mr Hancock said. "A style of house that doesn't qualify is the flat-roofed art deco style from the 1930s, or houses on concrete pads."

    He said the problem of lack of access was unusual. Hundreds of houses had been successfully insulated all round New Zealand, helping improve family health through living in warmer, drier conditions. Each package is worth up to $2500.

    The Healthy Homes project is a scheme where people who have community services cards and sick children can get their houses made energy efficient, for free. People who qualify and who have suitable houses get underfloor and ceiling insulation, hot water cylinders and pipes lagged, draught proofing and weather stripping installed, and three energy-efficient light bulbs given.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/manawat...5a6003,00.html
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx
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