The Ruapehu Whānau Transformation Plan (RWT) driven project, Te Whare Āhuru Ki Ruapehu, has found even more help for local residents wanting to keep their houses warm.
Whether living in Raetihi, Ohākune or Waiouru, RWT Implementation Manager Erena Mikaere-Most encouraged any residents worried about the warmth or safety of their property to give her team a call.
"The rural Ruapehu area has economic challenges including the lack of affordable, healthy comfortable housing.”
"The district's un-insulated homes are contributing to health and socioeconomic issues and because of this we have been working with a number of agencies to help implement a number of solutions.
"At the heart of these are a Home Maintenance Programme along with assistance in helping whānau access up to 100 percent funding towards insulation."
While owner-occupiers are preferred, Ms Mikaere-Most was quick to point out this requirement was not essential in gaining assistance.
Neither was having a Community Services Card.
"We've been working directly with EECA and the Whanganui District Health Board in creating easier access for all families to gain insulation funding.
"Unbeknown to many, even if people are in rental properties, there can still be financial assistance available.
"It may not be installed straight away but the RWT team are here to support whānau right from the start of the application process through to the end of installation."
The successful completion of a number of local home Building Warrant of Fitness assessments has resulted in 15 more places in the RWT Home Maintenance Programme becoming available.
"After our team has done a full safety and warmth assessment we then work on helping families develop a maintenance plan and as part of this we also explore accessing as much financial support for improvements as we can.
"All whānau need is a willingness to lead the co-ordination of any work required.
"A lack of funding or understanding of what home maintenance is shouldn't be a barrier to having a warm, safe home for whānau.
"These Te Whare Āhuru Ki Ruapehu solutions have been specifically designed to help break down the barriers to grants and assistance."
Regardless of situation, Mrs Mikere-Most believes everyone deserves a safe, warm home they can be proud of.
"The physical environment we surround ourselves in can really make a difference to how we feel, how we treat each other and what we do as whānau, and as a community.
"Good housing can make a huge difference to our lives."
Anyone wishing to talk to the RWT team about the warmth or safety of their own or rental property can contact Danielle Vaughan on 021 811 670 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org