Greens want a mandatory rental WOF, but National says it will force people into sleeping in cars

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Sep 8, 2018 in Rat News | Subscribe

Greens want a mandatory rental WOF, but National says it will force people into sleeping in cars

New figures from MSD show a quarter of eligible families are waiting over 150 days for public housing.

The Green Party wants Kiwi homes to pass a mandatory rental warrant of fitness before they can be let, however the National Party says the policy would see more people sleeping in cars and motels. 

National’s housing spokesperson Judith Collins said the policy would make it too hard for landlords and only reduce the supply of housing. 

“Most landlords are mums and dads who are doing their best for their tenants. If it becomes too expensive to lease accommodation, then they’re likely to sell up, reducing the supply of rental housing,” said Collins.

Marama Davidson said the current enforcement of housing standards to protect our older citizens as well as our younger ...

Marama Davidson said the current enforcement of housing standards to protect our older citizens as well as our younger ones is just not fit for purpose.

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson told Newshub Nation if a landlord doesn’t pass a warrant of fitness, that home will not be able to be rented out.

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Wellington rental warrant of fitness called ‘grandstanding’
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But Collins said the policy would not address the record number of people seeking state housing.

Judith Collins said the Greens need to start thinking about the impacts of vague feel-good policies and stop loading the ...

Judith Collins said the Greens need to start thinking about the impacts of vague feel-good policies and stop loading the costs onto New Zealand families.

“Instead of the Greens proposing solutions to address this, Ms Davidson announces a policy that will see more people living in cars and motels.”

In August 2017, the Wellington City Council unanimously accepted to trial a voluntary warrant of fitness scheme, making it the first council in New Zealand to do so

The voluntary scheme – which was developed by Otago University and the NZ Green Building Council – failed to gain much traction during its first months. 

Could rent increases be about to slow down? The Government has announced a review of rental rules.

Could rent increases be about to slow down? The Government has announced a review of rental rules.

Some landlords said councillors rushed into the decision and questioned the test’s reliability, while others called it grandstanding.

Housing New Zealand’s waiting list for eligible state housing tenants reached new highs in May, with 8519 eligible households waiting for housing. That was up from 8108 the month before, and over double the 3877 households waiting two years ago.

The waitlist, which only included families and individuals who had applied for public housing and had been deemed eligible to receive it, was one of the more telling measurements of the evolving housing crisis.

Philippa Howden-Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington and Wellington Mayor Justin ...

Philippa Howden-Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington and Wellington Mayor Justin Lester show off the new rental WOF app.

But Davidson wants those on the list to move into a warm, dry, healthy home with a comprehensive rental warrant of fitness scheme.

“I am proud to say that this Government is now taking major steps to ensure that people who live in rented accommodation are guaranteed the right to a warm and healthy home, submissions are now open on the Healthy Homes Guarantee which will see a major lift in the legal standards for housing,” said Davidson.

“The enforcement of housing standards to protect our older citizens as well as our younger ones is just not fit for purpose. Tenants currently have to take their landlord all the way to the Tenancy Tribunal to make sure the laws are abided by. That’s a pretty high barrier to enforcing laws designed to make sure people aren’t living in homes that make them sick, that can cause very serious respiratory disease.

“A warrant of fitness for rented homes would ensure that New Zealanders living in those homes have confidence that the house is dry, warm and healthy to live in, no matter what. And that if a home cannot pass the standard it cannot be rented out. We have a warrant of fitness for cars, we need them for homes.

It would be a regular check on rented homes by independent approved inspectors to make sure they meet the healthy home regulations for warmth, dryness and ventilation so our tamariki, our old people, and all our citizens living in rented accommodation don’t get sick, she said.

However, Collins said it was important to strike a good balance between landlords and tenants. 

“This announcement has been made in a vacuum away from reality,” she said.

“National made significant changes to our tenancy laws that are ensuring warmer, drier and safer homes for the one million New Zealanders who live in rental properties. Our policies are making sure that 500,000 homes are retro-fitted with insulation – compared to fewer than 50,000 under the previous Labour Government.”


 – Stuff

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