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Habitat launches Warm Fuzzies appeal to raise money to address housing need in New Zealand

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Thousands of New Zealanders experience unacceptable living conditions because they live in cold, damp and unhealthy homes.

Habitat for Humanity New Zealand is on a mission to change that with its inaugural Warm Fuzzies appeal.

“We know many families are doing it tough right now, especially as winter starts to bite. Our appeal’s aim is to raise funds so we are able to do more and thereby make a positive difference for more families and individuals in housing need,” says Alan Thorp, Group CEO, Habitat for Humanity New Zealand.

“A warm, dry, secure home enables a person to thrive, but we know many Kiwis are not in that position. In fact, in severe cases cold, damp and overcrowded housing leads to a range of issues – including ongoing poor health problems such as asthma and rheumatic fever which may require hospitalisation.”

Habitat has worked in New Zealand for more than 30 years, providing homes, making them habitable and promoting fair and decent housing. With the rising cost of living having a deeper impact, the need for Habitat’s work will be required now and well into the future.

Habitat knows many people’s lifestyles are diminished in winter – as was shown by the Aotearoa Housing Survey it conducted in 2022 with its corporate partner AMI Insurance.

Key findings of this research revealed the inadequate state of housing in New Zealand. In particular:

  • 14% of households believe their home is too cold in winter – equivalent to 265,000 homes
  • Four in ten (42%) are worried about dampness in their home
  • 8% (approx. 145,000 households) all stay in one room and only heat that room to stay warm when it gets very cold in winter
  • One in three households (30%) need basic repairs done inside their home
  • Almost one in ten households are concerned about significant mould in their home
  • For households that have significant areas of mould, 20% state that mould/dampness/condensation worsens the breathing of those living in the house

Habitat’s programming aims to address these issues via supporting families into their own home (either through its rent-to-buy programme or community rental), or helping a family make their current home more habitable through its critical home repair or healthy home programmes.

The Warm Fuzzies appeal runs from 1 July 2024 – 31 July 2024.

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