Pressure is building on the Government to rewrite its Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill as almost everyone who has submitted on the Bill has called for minimum standards to be set that keep people warm, dry and safe in their homes, the Green Party said today.
MPs are hearing submissions on the Bill until the end of the week, and so far many have been in favour of the introduction of a rental housing warrant of fitness, as opposed to the smoke alarms and insulation the Government’s currently offering up.
“You have to ask what’s wrong with a Government that refuses to guarantee that every child in New Zealand lives in a warm, safe, dry house that doesn’t put their life at risk,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei, who has been at the Wellington hearings.
“We’re hearing time and time again that some tinny insulation and a fire alarm just isn’t going to cut it – the Government’s current Bill isn’t going to stop our kids getting sick because of the house they live in.
“Housing experts and health advocates agree that a rentals warrant of fitness is needed to bring our houses up to standard, but the Government so far has refused to budge.
“The Green Party is very concerned about the level and quality of insulation this Bill will require of rental homes, and we’re not the only ones.
“Caritas, the Sustainability Trust, the New Zealand Green Building Council and Cosy Homes are just some of the housing and poverty advocates who have submitted to tell the Government that the Bill’s insulation provisions aren’t up to scratch. Just last week, the Children’s Commissioner said the same.
“My Member’s Bill, which is currently in the ballot, has a housing warrant of fitness at its centre, and would significantly improve the lives of the million-plus Kiwis who rent.
“The Government needs to re-work this Bill so that it puts our families’ health and safety at home first,” said Mrs Turei.