We’re in the middle of July, one of the coldest months of the year. And that means there are hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders all around the country, struggling to keep their homes warm and dry.
Sadly that isn’t the worst of it, either – every year around 1,600 New Zealanders die because of cold housing (to put that into perspective, that’s four times the road toll). As well as that, thousands of New Zealanders go to hospital every year with illnesses that arise from living in homes that are too cold. Many of those affected are children.
Labour will take steps to make sure our families have warm, dry, healthy housing to live in, especially in winter when it’s most needed.
How will we do that? Here are the three parts of our plan:
1. We’ll help pensioners and low-income New Zealanders heat their homes.
We know older New Zealanders and those on low incomes are the most at risk of getting sick from poor quality housing. They’re also the ones who often struggle to find money in their budgets to pay for good heating.
That’s why Labour will introduce a Winter Energy Payment for people on Super or on a main benefit. That’s $450/year for a single person, and $700/year for a couple or someone with dependent children, paid in monthly payments from May to September.
2. We’ll require rentals to be warm, dry and healthy.
We’ll implement a healthy homes guarantee. It’ll require all rental properties to meet proper standards in insulation, heating, ventilation and weather-tightness.
It’ll mean all rental homes will be warm and dry, and it’ll be much easier for the people living in them to stay healthy.
3. We’ll invest in warm, dry homes.
We’re going to give grants to 600,000 New Zealand homeowners and landlords to make their homes warm and healthy to live in. The grants will be up to $2,000 and will go towards insulating homes or installing a clean, fixed form of heating.
Our fresh approach will keep homes warm and dry, it’ll keep people healthy, and it’ll reduce hospital admissions and pressure on our health system. It’ll even save lives.
But to get there, we need you to give Labour two ticks on September 23 so that we can form a Government and implement these really important plans.
Will you help us get there? Let us know you’re in here: labour.org.nz/im-in