Landlords told to beat winter rush
With winter on its way Auckland landlords are being encouraged to utilise ratepayer money to make their rental homes healthier.
Auckland Council’s Healthy Rentals project allows landlords to apply for subsidies to improve and insulate their homes.
Managed by the Low Carbon Living team in Auckland Council’s Environmental Services, rental homes in the Puketapapa, Whau, Mangere- Otahuhu and Maungakiekie-Tamaki
Boards are eligible scheme.
Liz Ross from the Auckland Council Sustainability Initiatives Team said since the scheme was set up in 2014 more than 600 rental properties had improvements made through Healthy Rentals subsidies.
‘‘We want to hear from landlords and tenants now to beat the winter rush,’’ Ross said.
The scheme was originally a Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Local for the Board initiative. Ross said this was in support of the rental ‘‘Warrant of Fitness’’ developed by the Government in 2013.
Subsidies are available for improvements to ceiling and underfloor insulation, heat pumps, bathroom and kitchen extractor fans and groundsheets designed to be laid out under homes to stop rising damp and odours. Each Local Board had a budget of between $20,000 and $28,000 for Healthy Rentals subsidies, she said.
The Puketapapa Local Board has $28,000 on offer to deliver home assessments and tenant tips to 44 properties and physical improvements to approximately 27 properties.
So far six property assessments had been completed but as yet no landlords had applied for the subsidies for improvements.
During the 2016 financial year there were 59 installations on 31 rental properties in the Puketapapa Local Board, Ross said. This included 46 insulation installations. The Maungakiekie Tamaki Local Board put $20,000 towards Healthy Rentals in the 2016 financial year, Ross said.
Landlords still needed to shoulder the majority of the cost of improvements, she said.
The Local Board subsidy was simply a ‘‘top-up’’ that complements subsidies from other sources such as the Energy Efficient and Conservation Authority (ECCA) Warm Up NZ Programme, she said.
Getting houses insulated will be a key component of the project.