Land­lords told to beat win­ter rush

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - HUGH COLLINS

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.

PHOTO: 123RF

Get­ting houses in­su­lated will be a key com­po­nent of the project.

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