New research shows Healthy Homes Initiatives reaching those most in need

News article

30 July 2018

A new report  provides a good insight into the progress of the Healthy Homes Initiatives (HHI). 

The Ministry is very aware that housing is one of the key social determinants of health and is distributed inequitably. That’s where the HHIs come in.   

HHIs were created to focus on supporting low-income families to live in warm, dry and healthy homes.  

The programme covers 11 district health board regions and since starting in 2013, more than 10,500 individuals have been referred to the programme, and over 26,500 interventions have been delivered. (Latest data is up to 31 March 2018).  

A process evaluation was commissioned to help inform and improve the delivery of the HHIs going forward. The Healthy Homes Initiative Evaluation, published on the Ministry’s website, looked at:  



  • The assessment of HHI processes, its structure, model, management, implementation and delivery  
  • What worked well with the HHI at regional and national levels and what can be improved; and 
  • Lessons learned to inform the ongoing development and delivery of the extended programme to at-risk children aged 0–5 years.  

HHI families, referrers, HHI staff, landlords, partner government agency representatives and Ministry officials were interviewed as part of this evaluation.  

The encouraging news is this report has found the HHIs are either meeting or exceeding expectations.  

The HHIs were found to be innovative, had confidence from referrers, offered value for money for providers, offered a positive experience for everyone who uses and accesses the services, and increased families overall confidence in dealing with other health and social service agencies.  

Group Manager of Service Commissioning at the Ministry of Health, Sam Kunowski says the evaluation report found the programme exceeded expectations when it came to how whanau perceive their engagement and involvement with the programme and how satisfied they are by the outcomes.   

“Most of those people interviewed said that their involvement with the HHI has been positive and this had led to a boost in confidence when dealing with other health and social service agencies.”  

“This evaluation report, along with numerous case studies collected by providers in the past few years, illustrates just how effective the HHIs have been for vulnerable families,” says Mr Kunowski.  

“The Ministry intends to use this report to strengthen the effectiveness of the HHIs and to maximise their contribution to improving child wellbeing and equity of health outcomes.” 

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