July 1st, 2021


Another year has gone by. We have been busy caught up in doing the work and haven’t taken enough time to regularly share with you what we have been doing. Below is a snapshot of some of the exciting projects we have been doing over the past year.

Thank you for signing up to keep in touch and your ongoing support!

HH Directors


Housing for Health (HfH) Projects

Housing for Health returns to NYC

In 2010, funded by Common Ground, Healthabitat ran a trial project in Brooklyn, New York City in 10 apartments to see if the Housing for Health methodology could be applied to a high density neighbourhood. What we found was much like Australia, lack of routine maintenance and little to no vandalism.

We are very excited to announce our return in 2021! Community stakeholders in NYC have harnessed their collective power to advance the health, safety, prosperity and sustainability of healthy home repairs in a storied Brooklyn neighbourhood through integrating a Housing for Health program. We are working from afar to adapt survey tools, provide training, share data tools and problem-solving.

The first stage will test the program roll out in 5 units, working up to 130 units over the next 12 months. The Brownsville Partnership who are leading the project will be training and working with tenants, private and public landlords (New York City Housing Authority) and One-Brooklyn Health, and will be supported by long-term HH project partner IAPMO.

If successful the Brownsville Partnership have big plans to expand the program throughout the tens of thousands of low income households in Brownsville.


Housing for Health Team Members 2010

Housing for Health Team Members on NYC streets 2010

Northern Territory (NT) Projects

We are successfully expanding back into the NT with 10 new Housing for Health projects which will be delivered across the NT over the next 2 years. Over 550 houses and close to 4,000 residents will directly benefit from these projects.

This work presents a fresh opportunity to work alongside NT Health and Housing and Aboriginal community housing staff to use targeted repair and maintenance programs to improve health for residents. We hope the NT Government follows through on its wider objective to integrate improved health outcomes into how it manages its property and tenancy program for all 73 remote communities it manages across the NT.

Read more on the HH News Item

New South Wales (NSW) Projects

Last year, approximately 12 projects were underway in NSW with our partner NSW Health. Survey-fix work has been completed in 411 houses. We are pleased to welcome newly accredited Project Manager Jessica Spencer to the team. One of the early graduates of NSW Health’s Aboriginal Environmental Health trainee program, Jessica is a Regional Project Officer for NSW Health AEHU based in Dubbo.

Nationally, over 9,400 houses have now been surveyed and fixed around Australia. All surveys are being run with strict COVID protocols in place to protect local communities. 

Jessica Spencer Newly Accredited HfH Project Manager

Newly accredited Project Manager Jessica Spencer on a recent NSW Housing for Health Project

Maintaining Houses for Better Health (MHBH) 

Community Housing Central Australia (CHCA) is an Aboriginal controlled, not-for-profit community housing provider in Mparntwe / Alice Springs and is integrating Housing for Health into their cyclical repairs and maintenance program through running a MHBH project, based on the work of Healthabitat and the ‘9 Healthy Living Practices’.

This is a BIG step forward, as it provides a scalable and repeatable program for housing organisations to allow their maintenance budgets to focus on the parts of a house that will have the greatest chance to improve health. Almost 75% of house failures are a result of lack of routine maintenance.

Read more on the CHCA News Item

Local Team Features’

Diepsloot, South Africa | Obed Kakae receives his formal plumbing qualification

Following on from the first Diepsloot Sanitation Project 14 years ago, congratulations goes to Obed who is the first WASSUP member to have passed his studies and training to be a formally qualified plumber. We are so proud of Obed in what is an incredible achievement for his community. These projects were run in partnership with WASSUP, Sticky Situations and IAPMO.

Read more on the social media story


Obed Kakae Sticky Situations

 Obed with his plumbing qualification – Picture by Wassup

Dubbo, NSW | Irene Brown reflects on her thoughts on the program post Survey-Fix

HfH Projects have always had a strong focus on paid employment of local community members on every project. Without the local know-how and ‘know-who’ these projects would be impossible to run. We’d like to share a recent team members’ reflections on the project

“I worked in both Dubbo Housing for Health projects, where I was trained to survey, test, identify\fix windows, doors, powerpoints and light switches, globes and bulbs. Both times I worked on these parts of the survey and was able to train my fellow team mates on the second project having done it before. The part I enjoyed of the program was meeting and getting to know the people in the houses and making sure they were safe, especially with electricity and power points.

I think it’s a really good program for the people living in the houses to make sure they are safe, especially single mothers with young children and the elderly in the community. I feel more confident with changing light bulbs throughout my house since the program. “

Healthabitat Housing for Health team

Team members Barb, Rhonda, Irene and Team Leader Bobbie (left of Irene)

Nepal Document

A core group of volunteers have been working on producing a design guide for health and sanitation blocks in Nepal, collating the many decades of Healthabitat’s work and learning since 2007 in relation to the school projects.

This document will explain the important HLPs for these projects including recommended design and specifications from the many years of trialling hardware and working with local professionals in Nepal.

The document will be open source and available to NGOs worldwide and on the ground in Nepal.

Take a a sneak peak of draft pages from the guide

Demo Boards

Our Demonstration Boards have been revamped. These travelling training kits are used on HfH projects to train survey team members to identify and fix common electrical and plumbing faults. For such small cases they have had some serious thinking and multidisciplinary collaboration gone into them from Industrial Designers, Architects, Builders, Electricians and Plumbers.

Designed with water/dust proof Pelican Professional cases and backing boards made from polycarbonate heated and formed which provide a flexible substrate that won’t crack when bouncing on dirt roads or thrown about in a light aircraft on the way to a HfH project.

The electrical boards are now ready to head out on jobs, and the plumbing boards are mocked up ready for WorldSkills Australia to include in their competition in Perth, August 2021.

Thanks to all the people, trades, companies and contractors who donated their time, skills and resources to produce these.

Healthabitat Demo Boards  Healthabitat Demo Boards  Healthabitat Demo Boards

Photographs showing the details, inner workings and cases of the new demo boards