The Government’s inaction on the housing crisis is hurting our kids’ health, the Green Party said today.
A report out yesterday showed an increase of 36 percent of rheumatic fever cases in Auckland which is being blamed on the housing crisis, with overcrowding and substandard homes too common.
“It’s well beyond time for urgent action from this Government to make sure no kid is living in conditions that are making them sick and risking their lives,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“Getting kids out of living in cars, garages, and damp and overcrowded homes will help to reduce rheumatic fever rates.
“An increase in rheumatic fever of more than a third in one year is a shocking indictment on this Government.
“Kids will continue to get sick until we have minimum standards for healthy homes, like a WOF for houses.
“The Government also needs to build more state houses, and make sure they are warm, safe and dry.
“Too many children have been sent by WINZ to live in substandard, overcrowded housing which is clearly making them very sick.
“In combination with introducing minimum standards and building more high quality state homes, the Government also needs to roll out screening programmes like the successful Mana Kidz programme.
“The Green Party’s Schools at the Heart policy would make sure that all low decile schools have a dedicated school nurse to help with things like screening for rheumatic fever,” said Mrs Turei.