This is the story of “Whaea T” and the two years she spent in her cold, damp, unhealthy home with a completely unusable bathroom. The bathroom wall was so rotten it could no longer hold the sink which collapsed to the ground - and that’s where it stayed. With her wharepaku rendered useless, Whaea would have to use her daughter or neighbours facilities if and when they were home.
Despite the shame she felt, Whaea T decided to pursue avenues she thought were available to give her some assistance or guidance.
She reached out to the local DHB more than once, sending them photos and documentation of her home in its present state. The DHB denied her any support claiming the state of her and her home was not “Bad enough” to warrant their help. Their decision shocked Whaea as her situation was dire - yet she was being told she was not desperate enough.
Through referrals and the local grapevine, Whaea T found Whānau Ora who sent out an assessor as part of the Collective Impact programme. The leaky, cold, draughty and rotten home was thoroughly inspected and a detailed job list created and issued to the various partners. Kaimahi were shocked they could put their hand through the outside walls as they were so rotten and damp. Within six weeks they worked together and replaced the cladding, insulated the ceiling and underfloor area, replaced the bathroom with second hand cabinets and fittings and re-attached a basin to the new wall. A subsidised heat pump is also being installed shortly and the front cladding will be completed. Phil from Sustainable Homes went above and beyond - putting in a manhole to get into the ceiling, creating a back door, plus also fixing the lighting and replacing rotting boards in the deck.
Whaea also needs to get to the hospital for a health condition and through Whānau Ora - there is someone available to drive her to and from her appointments.
Whaea T is warmer, she is happier and she is healthier. The Whanau Ora Collective Impact programme has improved her overall mental and physical state and for that, Whaea T is very grateful. “I was really thankful for whatever I got, it’s awesome” she said. “People who have old homes that need fixing up, this is the place to come to if they need help”.
Another Whānau Ora Success Story in the Bay Of Plenty.