Summer relief for poor

• Dianne Mazzini, Irene Birkett and Paula Wilson with their insulation angel Stephen King. Photo by Steve Grant.

SIX social housing residents in Palmyra will be sleeping a little easier this summer after getting free insulation from the Australian Insulation Foundation.

Paula Wilson has been on a disability pension and living in social housing for about a decade after suffering renal failure and diabetes.

“Where I am, I get a bit of morning sun, but it’s a very dark little unit and it can be very cold in the winter mornings,” Ms Wilson told the Herald.

“I was wondering why it was getting quite cool, but I think it is because of the disintegration of the old insulation; it was put in 20-30 years ago.”

Although Ms Wilson’s house has air-conditioning, she can only use it sparingly because it’s too expensive to run.

Foundation CEO Stephen King says the recipients of his organisation’s insulation are “the poorest of the poor”.

“They are mainly in their 70s,” he says.

Very few social housing dwellings are adequately insulated.

Those who can afford air-conditioning often end up paying a fortune and emit a large amount of greenhouse gases.

Mr King believes his foundation is a pioneer of the social-environmental movement, and encouraged other organisations to take on the initiative.

“It’s the first of its kind in the world, and I believe that this an opportunity for other organisations, including the government, to basically duplicate what we are doing with other causes,” he says.

Currently Mr King funds the free insulation through the profits his organisation makes on insulating privately-owned homes, but hopes to eventually fully fund them through carbon credits. His ultimate aim is to insulate all social housing in WA.

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