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Company News >> Phil Twyford says 200 more state houses to get thermal upgrades
 Two hundred more state houses in the Hutt Valley will be thermally upgraded by the middle of next year, Housing Minister Phil Twyford says.
Crowded into a cosy living room of a Housing New Zealand home that was recently retrofitted with double glazing, insulation and modern heating, Twyford announced the extra 200 homes would be thermally upgraded on top of the 66 being retrofitted for a pilot programme.
So far 60 homes in the Hutt have been upgraded as part of the pilot, and a further six will be completed next month.
Twyford said it was important to make the announcement in the Hutt Valley, "because this is the great heartland of state housing in the Wellington region".
The Labour government believed in state housing and wanted to build more homes of a higher quality, he said.
The announcement of 200 more homes getting retrofitted was "overdue", and now was the right time to be doing it.
That was another 200 families that wouldn't be coming home to cold houses, he said.
Cold, damp homes were "terrible" for New Zealand's most vulnerable, including elderly and children, who could be left with a lifetime of lung damage from living in an unhealthy home.
It's not clear yet when or how the retrofitting programme will be rolled out nationally, but changes would need to be made for the rest of the HNZ stock to meet incoming standards for rental properties.
He said it was common for families to only heat the living room, and leave the rest of the house feeling like an "icebox".

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