Government policies forcing disabled people into cold damp houses

Information released yesterday showing that disabled people who rent are much more likely to live in cold, damp homes is clear evidence that National’s housing policies are failing, the Green Party said today.

Statistics New Zealand has released new data that shows that 38 percent of disabled people in rented homes said they have difficulty keeping their house warm, compared to 25 percent of non-disabled renters.

“National could make a difference for disabled people today by providing better support for living costs and re-instating funding for home insulation,” said Green Party disability spokesperson Mojo Mathers.

“Everyone deserves to live in a safe, warm, dry home, and these figures show that the very people need to stay warm and dry the most are missing out.  

“Accessible rentals are few and far between, especially in the current housing crisis, so all too often disabled people are forced to accept poor quality housing.

“Disabled people are also often on lower incomes and have higher health and disability expenses, which forces many into lower cost but cold and damp rentals.

“National cut home insulation funding to its lowest ever level in Budget 2016, which means that thousands of people are missing out on getting warmer, dryer homes.

“Disabled people are disproportionately affected by these cuts and they are clearly suffering the consequences.

“To make things worse, power costs are often high because people on low incomes are often forced onto expensive pre-paid power plans which mean that in long run, it ends up costing far more to heat their home,” said Ms Mathers. 

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