Dampness, mould, coldness and overcrowding in homes around New Zealand are some of the issues around substandard housing that a new partnership is set to respond to.

A newly launched, three-year sponsorship between IAG-backed New Zealand insurer AMI and community housing provider Habitat for Humanity New Zealand aims to make a difference for thousands of Kiwis living in substandard housing.

“Every day, Habitat works towards a world where everyone has a decent place to live. In New Zealand, nearly a quarter of homes are affected by dampness, nearly 17% have visible mould, and more than 10% of New Zealanders live in homes that are over-crowded,” says Alan Thorp, Group Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity New Zealand.

“Over the next three years our work will improve the lives of 75,000 New Zealanders and we’re excited to have AMI’s support to help us achieve this.

“We know that the quality of your home has a direct connection to the quality of your life. Damp and mouldy homes can affect respiratory health and increase the risk of asthma onset, as well as a whole host of other infections. We work with families across New Zealand to help them make their home warmer, drier and healthier. This can range from something as simple as installing curtains through to significant repairs.”

Mr Thorp says the partnership with AMI will enable Habitat to scale its core programmes to support more families, while also educating the wider New Zealand public about what they can do to keep their homes healthy year-round.

AMI Sustainability Manager Jess Rodger says the partnership was a natural one for the insurer:

“Having provided home and contents insurance to New Zealanders for over 90 years, AMI knows the importance of living in a safe and well-constructed home.”

“We know that lifting the conditions of a home can have a real impact on aspects like energy efficiency, housing durability, safety, stability and wellbeing. With the past year being characterised by greater health awareness and greater time spent at home, we are delighted that this partnership will enable Habitat for Humanity to build on their almost-30 years of experience in housing in New Zealand years, to make Kiwi homes more liveable.”

“We are also proud to be supporting the work that Habitat for Humanity is already doing in New Zealand, including social rental programmes and delivering homes under the Progressive Home Ownership scheme,” says Ms Rodger.