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Hamilton Girls High wins competition on cold, damp, rentals

Hamilton Girls High wins competition on cold, damp, rental housing

“Hamilton Girls High School has won free insulation in a national cardboard house building competition,” the Christchurch Anglican Social Justice Unit announced today.

School students across the country built cardboard houses to raise awareness of cold, damp rental housing in New Zealand. Today, competition organisers sent photos of the entries to the Minister of Housing as part of a call for a warrant of fitness on rental housing.

“We were blown away by entries from students wanting to draw attention to the state of rental housing in New Zealand,” said Reverend Jolyon White, one of the competition organisers.

“We were inspired by one entrant who said “landlords need to value people as first class and worthy of first class shelter. It is a question of values and priorities.’

“Landlords with uninsulated houses are exploiting their tenants for profit. If you can’t afford a warm dry rental, then you can’t afford to own a rental property,” Rev White said.

“We could put that in a more gentle way, but we are sick of seeing kids fall behind in school because their homes are too cold to concentrate on learning. It’s summer now, so landlords have 6 months to insulate their properties before they cause more suffering.

“So many schools have obviously thought about the issues. And while many schools were outstanding, Hamilton Girls had a good combination of all judging criteria,” Rev White said.

Competition sponsors will ensure the girls go well rewarded. Hamilton Girls High will have the option of being insulated for free, thanks to EarthWool (Knauf Insulation) and Right House. If their school is already well insulated, they can select another school to receive the prize.

The sponsors EarthWool and Right House were eager to support the initiative.

“Knauf Insulation strongly supports a Warrant of Fitness for rental housing. The quality of rental housing in New Zealand needs to be improved, it’s unhealthy by world standards,” Nathan Hanssens from Knauf Insulation said.

“In the long run, insulating houses saves the country money, in healthcare, and in days missed from work,” Mr. Hanssens said.

EarthWool is glasswool insulation made using recycled bottles and bio-based materials without the added colour or formaldehyde found in traditional glasswool insulation. It has attained the Greenguard Children and Schools certification in the United States, assuring its safety for use in schools. Right House will install the insulation and is proud to support the initiative.

The competition was run by the Social Justice Unit of the Christchurch Anglican Church and supported by Child Poverty Action Group and Unicef.


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