The future of healthy homes will be discussed at the next Whanganui Science Forum talk.

Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman will give a lecture titled "Home Truths" on April 26.

Professor Howden-Chapman believes the poor standard of current housing, and the inability of many people on low incomes to access decent housing, are problems that are avoidable.

So she suggests a new way forward for New Zealand housing that is is healthy, inclusive and sustainable.


Professor Howden-Chapman is a professor of public health at the University of Otago, where she teaches public policy.

She is the director of He Kainga Oranga (the Housing and Health Research Programme), a director of the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities and a lead researcher for the Resilient Urban Futures programme.

She has conducted a number of randomised community housing trials in partnership with local communities, which have had a major influence on housing, health and energy policy.

She has a strong interest in reducing inequalities in health and has published widely in this area, receiving a number of awards for her work.

Currently the chairwoman of the World Health Organization's Housing and Health Guideline Development Group, she has been a member of the Children's Commissioner Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty.

Professor Howden-Chapman has received awards for her work and was the first social scientist to receive the Prime Minister's Science Prize in 2014.

She is the author of Home Truths: Confronting New Zealand's Housing Crisis, which looks at housing affordability, unhealthy homes, wealth inequality, environmental sustainability and social mobility.

The lecture is on April 26 at the Davis Theatre at 7.30pm and is open to the public. Admission is $3 for science forum members and $4 for non-members.