Krishna Boyd spent the winter months taking blankets off her family’s beds rather than putting extra ones on.
The Onerahi mum-of-five is a Housing New Zealand tenant whose home has been through the Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme.
“We used to all sleep together ‘marae-styles’ in the lounge,’’ smiles the 35-year-old who has four of her five boys, aged 7 to 18, living with her.
“We’d run the heater for four or five hours before we’d feel comfortable but now, it’s so warm, we can walk around in our underwear. It’s awesome.’’
The Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme is a joint initiative run by the Ministry of Health,
Housing New Zealand and other agencies which identifies families with children at risk of rheumatic fever, then assesses their houses and makes improvements where needed.
Since January 2014, 875 Housing New Zealand families have been successfully referred to the Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme and 1907 interventions have been carried out across more than 750 houses.
At Krishna Boyd’s home Housing New Zealand has installed thermal quality drapes, replaced carpet in one of the bedrooms, mould-treated the bedrooms and applied draught strips to the front, back and interior doors.
“When the curtains went up we noticed a massive change right off the bat. It was so warm we had to start taking blankets off our beds,” says Ms Boyd, who works part time in retail.
“Before, even when it was a sunny day, you would walk into the house and it felt damp – I would go through a roll of a paper towel each morning drying the windows.”