Rental WOF - we’ll believe it when we see it
Phil Twyford | Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 14:24
Housing Minister Nick Smith’s sudden interest in a WOF for rental properties is encouraging, but piling work onto officials is no substitute for leadership, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.
The Minister is reportedly “excited” about asking officials to look at the feasibility of imposing a warrant of fitness scheme on all rental housing.
But in the same breath he suggests the Government should only focus on Housing New Zealand properties and homes receiving income-related rents.
“That won’t excite the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders renting in the private sector, many of whom face another damp, cold winter.
“The Government has made commitments to upgrade Housing New Zealand properties already and this work should be completed this year. Nick Smith wants to wait until every Housing New Zealand house is complete but this is just an excuse for inaction.
“Only 5% of private rental houses have benefitted from the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy, and yet most low-income people are living in private rentals. It is time for the Government to act.
“We know that around 44 per cent of rental properties are in poor condition, while one third of New Zealanders who rent have raised concerns their homes are damp or cold. That’s why Labour announced a commitment to a Healthy Home Guarantee last year.
“Labour has a plan that will get to the core of our housing affordability crisis as well as ensuring that every rental home in New Zealand is a healthy home that’s warm and dry.
“Kids are dying from preventable respiratory diseases in un-insulated homes and all Nick Smith can do is ask officials to kick the tires,” Phil Twyford said.