INDEPENDENT NEWS

HRV Supports housing "Warrant of Fitness"

Published: Fri 8 Mar 2013 09:27 AM
HRV Supports housing "Warrant of Fitness"
HRV supports and would like to commend Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith on yesterday’s proposal of a Government enforced housing ‘warrant of fitness’.
The recognition of this issue by the Minister and acknowledgement of the role rental and state housing plays in New Zealand health issues is a big step forward for the country. However, it is critical the promise of greater regulation around rental property standards see action sooner rather than later.
To this end, HRV would like to match Dr Smith’s commitment by offering its assistance with a full audit of the New Zealand housing stock, both public and private.
HRV visits over 1,500 houses around the country every week, routinely assessing their needs and offering solutions that provide warm, dry air through ventilation, heating and cooling. These are solutions that help to remove triggers for a number of other respiratory illnesses including asthma, for which this country suffers one of the highest rates in the world.
Having visited hundreds of thousands of Kiwi homes over the past 10 years, HRV has seen the gap in health standards between owned homes and rental homes continue to grow. We have seen the effects the current lack of accountability causes in rental properties and, subsequently, in the health of tenants.
The Minister has stated the proposed rental ‘warrant of fitness’ is unlikely to draw a line in the sand with a set date for landlords to bring properties up to standard. Indeed, resources being what they are, enforcing this standard universally and consistently would prove an issue. By providing the Government with the resource to audit these properties, the process could be brought forward with immediate action.
We believe the key is to help landlords by educating and incentivising them to make a change. To date, HRV has been instrumental in alerting New Zealanders to the dangers inherent in a poorly ventilated, damp home. We are confident that, with the support of the Government, we have the capability and resource to effectively educate this segment of the market for the greater good. HRV has helped 130,000 NZ homes to filter air & dry their home - and the other 900k homes deserve it also.
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