Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill in first 100 days
Every New Zealander deserves a warm, healthy home to live in, said Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford, as he opened the Committee of the Whole debate for the final stages of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2).
“Half of New Zealanders now rent. It is time to modernise the law and ensure that all rentals are fit for people to live in,” Mr Twyford says.
“This Bill will enable the Government to set standards for rental housing quality. It will be a huge step forward for public health. It is one of the Government’s priorities in our first 100 days to start building a better New Zealand.
“Warm, dry homes are vital for the health of our families. It is only reasonable for landlords to ensure that the product they sell does not damage the health of their tenants.
"Earlier this year, the Building Research Association released research showing nearly a third of rentals felt damp by varying degrees. 40,000 children a year are admitted to hospital due to diseases are related to poor housing, and 1,600 New Zealanders’ lives a cut short by illnesses caused by living in cold, damp conditions. This has to change.
“The Healthy Homes standards will cover heating, insulation, ventilation, draught stopping, drainage and moisture. Many landlords will already meet these standards. For those that need to upgrade their properties, government grants of up to $2,000 for installing heating and insulation will be available.
“The Government will run a consultation process over the next 18 months to ensure that tenants, landlords, public health and building science experts and industry representatives have an opportunity to get involved in creating robust minimum standards” Mr Twyford says.
The minimum standards will be implemented through supplementary regulations that will be developed after the Bill has been passed, and after public consultation.
- the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) will commence on 1 July 2019
- all residential tenancies must comply with the regulations within five years of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) commencing; and
- earlier compliance dates may be prescribed by the regulations in some circumstances.