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Greens announce plan to make every house a home

The Green Party today announced a progressive plan to protect the rights of people who rent and ensure that every house in New Zealand is warm, dry and healthy.

The Green Party will:

       Ensure every house is warm, dry, and healthy with a mandatory rental warrant of fitness and by restoring Warm Up NZ insulation subsidies.
       Professionalise renting by requiring landlord registration and reciprocal maintenance bonds from landlords.
       Promote stable, secure tenancies through three year standard tenancies, rights of renewal and end no-cause evictions.
       Ensure fairer rents by ending letting fees and limiting rent increases to once a year based on a mutually agreed formula.
       Reform the Tenancy Tribunal from an adversarial to a solutions focussed model.  
       Help landlords and tenants with free assistance, information, and advice through FlatMates – a national coordination office for tenancy issues.

“Home insulation is a classic Green win-win-win: good for people, good for the environment, and good for the economy,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.

“Cold, damp houses in New Zealand contribute to more deaths every year than the road toll.

“The Green Party has a proven record working with Labour and National to get homes insulated, and in government we will finish the job we started.

“The revamped Warm Up NZ scheme will make up to $2,500 available per house to pay for better insulation, clean heating devices and other measures that will support a healthier home such as draught stops and better curtains.

“A Warrant of Fitness for rental homes and a requirement on landlords to set aside money for reasonable maintenance will put an end to cold, damp, mouldy rentals.

“Over half of the population is now renting and they deserve the same standards as people who own a home.

“People who rent should have security so they can put down roots and benefit from being able to participate in their community.

“Bringing in three year standard tenancies, guaranteeing rights of renewal, and ending no-cause evictions will make tenants feel more at ease where they are.

“Bringing balance to the rental market will help both landlords and tenants.

“The evidence from overseas is that landlord licensing has helped create better rental markets, led to a reduction of anti-social behaviour, and improved rental standards.

“FlatMates – a new tenancy coordination office will provide advice, assistance and information to both landlords and tenants so that everyone knows their rights and responsibilities.

“The Green Party is committed to reforming renting so that every house is a home,” said Mr Shaw.