Good Homes for Good Lives.


Our four years of research shows that older people often put off repairs and maintenance because they feel it’s too hard and would cost too much. But there is a greater cost – older people struggle to stay healthy if their house is cold, uncomfortable or unsafe.

We have created three practical checklist tools to help people assess what repairs and maintenance work needs to be done and who the best person is to do it. These tools are now available online and can be downloaded here for free.

Mrs R was worried about things that needed fixing around her house. She was anxious that she would not be able to cope and would have to go to live in a rest home. A friend suggested that she phone Ron the local home handy man to see if he could help. Ron sat down with Mrs R to talk about her concerns and they went through the Good Homes checklist together. Ron fairly quickly identified that the kitchen sink pipe needed unblocking, and a couple of leaking taps needed attention. Outside Ron cleaned out the guttering, which had overflowed in the recent rain. Ron also arranged to fix a window the following day. Later Mrs R rang her friend and said that the repairs weren’t nearly as daunting as she had thought, and she didn’t feel as if she needed to go to a rest home anymore.

Householder tool

The Householder Tool is a checklist that helps you go through your home, room-by-room, to identify things that need repair, maintenance or are unsafe. The Householder Tool suggests solutions to fix any problems and who to contact.

Support Service Provider Tool

The Support Services Provider Tool is very similar to the Householder Tool but is designed to be used by agencies that support older people in their homes (eg District Health Board staff, Age Concern, Presbyterian Support Services). The agency completes the checklist and helps arrange repairs for the older person.

Housing Provider and Repairs & Maintenance Provider Tool

This tool is for property managers, housing providers, landlords or repairs and maintenance services with some technical knowledge of dwellings. It allows a more detailed assessment and comes in two parts – a paper-based checklist and an electronic tool (Excel sheet) that identifies and prioritises tasks based on urgency and cost.

We are relying on like-minded organisations to spread the word about these Tools. If you need a file for bulk printing or you would like to host the Tools on your website please contact us:

Centre for Research, Evaluation and Social Assessment (CRESA)
Freephone: 0508 427 372

“We live in a culture that has the idea that old people shouldn’t be in their own homes… that it’s too much for them. The Good Homes Tools aim to change that thinking by helping people keep on top of repairs and maintenance and stay in their own homes for as long as they want.”
– Kay Saville-Smith, Good Homes programme leader