Reports this morning that landlords are still reluctant to insulate homes for their tenants, despite subsidies to do so, show the urgent need for a Warrant of Fitness for rental homes, the Green Party says.
"Making it voluntary for landlords to provide a healthy home for tenants is clearly not working and it’s time that minimum standards for rentals are made mandatory," Green Party housing spokesman Kevin Hague said.
"More than a million adults and half a million New Zealand children live in rentals and they should have the right to live in homes that provide them with basic levels of warmth shelter and protection.
"A Warrant of Fitness as proposed by the Green Party would require rentals to meet insulation, weather-tightness, and basic service standards including heating, hot and cold tap water, toilet, a shower or a bath tub, electricity and a stove and safe wiring.
"The Government has dragged the chain on providing minimum standards for rentals, and is still refusing to release the results of its trial of Warrant of Fitness standards on state homes.
"This is a question about where a Government puts its priorities: Is it the health and safety of children, or the profits of landlords?
"The market is failing New Zealanders, both in the provision of affordable homes, and in healthy rentals. Till the Government responds by making minimum standards mandatory, children will suffer from illnesses and disease associated with cold damp homes," Mr Hague said.