This morning’s story about Lamar Aspinall contracting rheumatic fever from living in a cold, mouldy rental home is yet another reminder of why we urgently need a Government-regulated rental housing Warrant of Fitness, the Green Party said today.
“Two things are very clear: firstly, this issue isn’t going away any time soon and, secondly, the Government’s half-baked measures will do nowhere near enough to stop Kiwi kids gets getting sick,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“Kids like Lamar Aspinall, and like Emma-Lita Bourne, should not have to live in cold, damp, mouldy homes that put their lives at risk.
“Unfortunately, John Key isn’t willing to do anything meaningful or decisive about it.
“The Government thinks that having minimum standards for insulation and smoke alarms will be enough to fix the shoddy state of housing stock – well, they are kidding themselves and deceiving Kiwis.
“The only way to protect our families from these kinds of illnesses is to have a far-reaching, thorough rentals Warrant of Fitness with continued oversight and regulation from the Government.
“A Government-led rental-housing Warrant of Fitness would ensure all Kiwi renters are legally entitled to live in a healthy, safe home, and would give landlords certainty about the standard their houses have to meet.
“When Kiwis are paying to live in houses that are making them sick, it’s clear that there’s been a massive failure of the market.
“This is a disgraceful situation for 21st century New Zealand and, in the week when the NBR’s Rich List was published, it’s a stark a reminder that if New Zealand isn’t working for everyone, it isn’t working at all,” said Mrs Turei.