Research to maximise the health and wellbeing gains from housing

In this 5 year research programme, funded by a grant from the Health Research Council (HRC), the multidisciplinary team will test new interventions designed to increase equitable health outcomes and enhance New Zealanders’ wellbeing. The group includes researchers from the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University and the research institutes BRANZ and Motu. The main goal of the programme is that everyone in NZ lives in warm, dry, mould-free, safe and secure housing that enables health and wellbeing.

The research has four main objectives:

  • To improve NZ's regulatory framework by measuring the impact that mandatory NZ Healthy Homes Standards has had on housing quality, including indoor temperatures, air quality, physical and mental health and mortality; increasing knowledge of the reasons for the partial adoption of the World Health Organization (WHO) Housing and Health Guidelines; and increasing knowledge of Pasifika community housing arrangements and needs;

  • To utilise natural experiments to analyse the impact of extending the NZ Healthy Homes Standards to incorporate other WHO Housing and Health Guidelines, e.g. the impact of including home injury prevention measures on Accident Compensation Corporation claims and effective mould eradication policies;
     
  • To work with our Healthy Homes Initiatives partners, enabled by the Integrated Data Infrastructure, to increase understanding of the potential of interventions to reduce respiratory illness, benefit mental health, reduce injuries and residential mobility, and improve equity;
     
  • To support Māori health advancement by better understanding Māori housing conditions and the costs on health and wellbeing of housing inequalities.

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Nevil Pierse nevil.pierse@otago.ac.nz.