New Zealand Labour Party

Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill

Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.

“The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation to make sure all rental properties are warm and dry.

“It toughens up National’s weak standards by closing the loophole which allows landlords to retain redundant 38-year-old insulation levels and adds new requirements for heating and ventilation.

“The Paediatric Society today warned the Government Administration Select Committee that the lungs of children under the age of six are being permanently damaged by exposure to cold, damp homes.

“Spokesperson Dr Tim Jelleyman said unhealthy homes are condemning children to ongoing respiratory infections which will shorten their lives.

“The Medical Association told the committee that the Government’s compliance regime – which rely on tenants complaining – don’t work in the tight rental market.

“Tenants are too scared to complain about rundown rental properties because they fear being evicted. The Association says even random testing would be better than the current regime.

“Right now 42,000 children are hospitalised each year because of cold, mouldy and damp homes, and tragically 15 of them will die. This issue should be above politics and I urge all parties to support my Bill,” Andrew Little says.