20 Degrees is a collaborative healthy housing programme, working to ensure homes in the Bay of Plenty can achieve 20°C.
The programme is delivered by Sustainability Options. The charitable organisation carries out home assessments, identifying the issues preventing homes from reaching 20°C – whether that be significant structural concerns such as rotting floors or dilapidated roofs, superficial repairs and maintenance needed like insulation, broken windows or heaters, or behaviours that need to be changed around ventilation and heating.
To solve these problems, the programme connects home occupants with existing healthy housing services and subsidies that are available. Once all available resources have been tapped into, 20 Degrees then fills the gaps of any issues left unresolved, typically the minor repairs and maintenance, by fixing these at no cost.
A prerequisite for the programme is that participants must be open to engaging with the education component of 20 Degrees – workshops and DIY skill sessions that build the knowledge needed to keep homes healthy after these interventions are completed.
Through this it is hoped that homes will not only be healthy, resulting in less hospital admissions and reduced costs to the health system, but a shift in culture can be achieved; one where 20°C is the only temperature that’s acceptable.