Proposals to make homes healthier released

Proposals to make rental properties warmer and drier have been released for public consultation, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford today announced.

Healthy homes standards will set minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in residential rental properties.

Phil Twyford said the Government was committed to improving the quality of rental properties so families living in rental properties are happier and healthier.

“Renting is now a long-term reality for many Kiwi families with over one-third of New Zealanders living in a rental home. We know rental homes are more likely to be older and of poorer quality than owner-occupied homes,” Phil Twyford says. 

“Many rental homes are cold, damp, and mouldy which can contribute to a range of health issues including respiratory conditions, toxic reactions and allergies. Such illnesses can affect people’s employment and economic opportunities because they have to take more sick days, and affect children’s educational outcomes because they are off school more.

The healthy homes standards follow the passing of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2017 last December and are part of the Government’s commitment to making life better for renters.

“Improving heating, insulation, ventilation, drainage, and controlling moisture and draughts will go a long way to improving the quality of rental homes. These measures can also improve the energy efficiency of homes, and reduce the costs to maintain and keep them warm and dry, benefitting both tenants and landlords.

“We want to hear from landlords, tenants and any other interested New Zealanders about these proposals,” Phil Twyford said.

The discussion document also seeks feedback on the timing and phasing for when landlords must comply with the standards. The regulations containing the standards must be in place by 1 July 2019.

The discussion document and an online survey are available at www.mbie.govt.nz/healthy-homes Consultation is open for seven weeks with submissions closing at 6pm on Monday 22 October.