Health Housing News and Events

06 Mar 2018

Professor David Ormandy talks to Kathryn Ryan about the Housing Health and Safety Rating System – a scheme he developed which has been used for over ten years and is credited with raising housing standards in England and Wales. The HHSRS has also been adopted in the U.S. and has inspired the University of Otago, He Kainga Oranga, the Housing and Health Research Programme’s rental warrant of fitness. David is also contributing to the early stages of the Grenfell Tower inquiry. Please Listen

12 Feb 2018

Commissioned by Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford and released today, A Stocktake of New Zealand’s Housing  assesses the entire housing continuum from home ownership and market renting, to state housing and homelessness, and the social cost of substandard housing.

He Kainga Oranga, the Housing and Health Programme Director Phillipa Howden-Chapman  is one of the report authors , she emphasised a widening gap between homeowners and renters, one that particularly hurt Pasifika people.

“If you own a house, as half of New Zealand adults do, then you’ve done very well over the last decade. If you don’t you haven’t,” Howden-Chapman said. Please Read for more details

20 Dec 2017

He Kainga Oranga, the Housing and Health Research Programme and NZ Center for Sustanable Cities will offer two short courses at Public Health Summer School University of Otago

Please find the details

13 Nov 2017

The Housing First model has taken around 1000 people off the street and put them into houses in Hamilton and Auckland in the last three years.  Please watch   Finding a home,

with comments from Associate Professor Nevil Pierse who is leading” Housing First’ Programme (funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment)

25 Sep 2017

On Thursday 21st September, with the hours ticking down to election day, Unity Books played host to a timely and politically charged book launch. Philippa Howden-Chapman (co-editor alongside Lisa Early and Jenny Ombler) launched her book Cities in New Zealand: Preferences, Patterns & Possibilities to a hopeful and eager crowd. Lined up to speak were Mayor Justin Lester and Labour’s Grant Robertson who, as expected, delivered rousing speeches. AFTERGLOW: Cities in New Zealand: Preferences, Patterns & Possibilities by Philippa Howden-Chapman, Lisa Early & Jenny Ombler


22 Sep 2017

The rental WOF developed by Otago University  and the NZ Green Building Council was recently introduced by the Wellington City Council. The Rental WOF sets minimum standards for energy efficiency, health and safety for all residential rental properties, but  federation members think it will raise rents and make some landlords quit the market. Please read  Philippa Howden-Chapman: Without standards, renters get less for more


22 Sep 2017

Half of New Zealand’s renters report damp or mould problems with their homes, which can have negative health implications. Tenants in a newly upgraded social housing complex complained of being cold. Sealing strips around doors and baffles in rangehoods were installed. Please read our team members Phd candidate Lara Rangiwhetu, Dr Nevil Pierse & Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman’s new publication on  Effects of minor household interventions to block draughts on social housing temperatures: a before and after study

19 Sep 2017

A new book sets out important ideas for helping New Zealand cities resolve the challenges of providing quality, affordable housing, designing healthy transport systems and dealing with climate change.

Cities in New Zealand: Preferences, patterns and possibilities has multiple authors and was edited by Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, Jenny Ombler and Dr Lisa Early, of the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities, hosted at the University of Otago, Wellington. Please  Read for more details.

08 Sep 2017

The study by the University of Otago in Wellington compared the homes of 150 children who had visited their GPs for a first prescription of asthma medication with those of 300 children who had never experienced the wheezing associated with asthma.

Dr Caroline Shorter said while it had long been known that damp and mould made asthma worse, this was one of the first studies to show those conditions might actually be causing the illness.

Please read for more details.

Household mould could lead to asthma in children

Mould could be to blame for asthma, NZ study finds

Mould may trigger asthma

Research links mould to asthma

Study of 450 Wellington children finds mouldy, leaky homes cause asthma

Mouldy homes linked to asthma




04 Sep 2017

Nearly a third of New Zealand households struggle with “energy hardship” – paying their power bills, heating their home, mould and dampness.

The figure was released today by Statistics New Zealand in a first of its kind study, which also found the situation is much worse for renters and low-income families.

Professor Philippa Howden Chapman,  said her colleagues in the United States, Europe and Australia give energy hardship “a lot of attention, but this problem doesn’t appear in any energy policy documents in New Zealand”. Please Read here for more details