Hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged during the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Five years on, many Cantabrians are still living in cold, damp and damaged houses.

Together, New Zealand Red Cross and the Community Energy Action Charitable Trust are helping families stay warm and healthy through the Repair Well project.

The project, which was launched almost three years ago, helps people improve the energy efficiency of their homes as they are being repaired, making them warmer and healthier.

Repair Well can help vulnerable families by adding wall and underfloor insulation, ventilation, efficient heating and enclosed curtain tracks. The project supports families who would not otherwise be able to afford the improvements, as well as households with young children or older people.

Making a difference for vulnerable Cantabrians

Red Cross outreach coordinator Dianne Messenger says the project has made a big difference for many Cantabrians.

“Repairing well means people will have a home that is liveable, that is warm, that is dry, that is healthy.”

So far, Repair Well has helped hundreds of people have more energy-efficient homes, including Andrew and Rachel, a couple with two young children.

Their four-year-old daughter suffers from asthma brought on by the cold. Through Repair Well, they have been able to transform their home, installing a roaring fire. It’s made a real difference for their daughter.

“I really, really don’t worry about her now. I know her room’s warm enough. We’re really grateful for it and feel really blessed,” Rachel says.

Apply for assistance with your home

Christchurch residents can still apply for assistance through the Repair Well project. For more information, phone 0800 GET WARM (0800 438 9276) or find out more on the Community Energy Action website