Eco-design professional Dr Nelson Lebo says that Whanganui has a "huge number of sub-standard homes" and will do his bit in assessing them.

Dr Lebo is joining an initiative started by the New Zealand Green Building Council called HomeFit, which is starting six pilots nationwide.

The HomeFit Standard is an inspection based assessment of the health, comfort, energy efficiency and safety of a New Zealand home.

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"Most people who live in cold and/or damp homes, they know that it's cold and damp, but they don't know what to do about it," Dr Lebo said.

"In a nutshell, they're homes that are making people sick. This assessment tells them exactly where that house is falling short."

Dr Lebo put his hand up to be an assessor when asked by the NZGBC because of his passion for healthy homes and will carry out six home inspections during the pilot programme.

He said that anyone in Whanganui was eligible for a pilot assessment, but that he is "not interested in landlords trying to get me to go and visit their rental property".

He will be evaluating homes on the state of insulation, heating, lightbulbs, hot water temperature, the presence or absence of extractor fans and the curtains inside.

In the future, once HomeFit gets past the pilot stage, property owners will be able to have their homes assessed and if they pass, they will be certified as being HomeFit.

"If you've got young kids and you've got an old home, I think ultimately the cost of [having your home assessed] is $300," Dr Lebo said.

"So imagine a family, they've just got on the housing ladder with a pretty lousy home and they've got young children, $300 is not much to invest for an independent third party assessment of your home."


For expressions of interest in the pilot programme, which gives you a free assessment with a $20 administration fee, contact or call 022 635 0868.

Pilot participants will not receive certification from their initial assessment, but can apply for it at a later date.