Move step closer to healthy homes

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - PROP­ERTY

The Real In­sti­tute of New Zealand is happy the Healthy Homes Guar­an­tee Bill has moved a step closer to re­al­ity.

The Bill passed its sec­ond read­ing in par­lia­ment re­cently.

REINZ said it wanted leg­is­la­tion that will im­prove the qual­ity of New Zealand’s hous­ing stock.

While land­lords al­ready had obli­ga­tions un­der the Res­i­den­tial Te­nan­cies Act, there was no guid­ance about the spe­cific stan­dards they must meet to en­sure warm and dry ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The new stan­dards out­lined in the Bill seek to de­scribe what con­sti­tutes ad­e­quate, whether it be through meth­ods of heat­ing and in­su­la­tion, in­door tem­per­a­ture, ven­ti­la­tion, draught stop­ping, and drainage.

‘‘There are sig­nif­i­cant pock­ets of New Zealand’s hous­ing stock that is be­low par by world stan­dards,’’ REINZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Bindi Nor­well said.

‘‘And any im­prove­ment will be of ben­e­fit to the health and well­be­ing of Kiwis – par­tic­u­larly in re­la­tion to res­pi­ra­tory ill­nesses caused by cold and damp hous­ing e.g. asthma and rheumatic fever which can have sig­nif­i­cant im­pacts for chil­dren and el­derly peo­ple.

‘‘The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion rec­om­mends an in­door tem­per­a­ture of 18 de­grees Cel­sius, or 21 deg C for young, el­derly or dis­abled peo­ple and the Healthy Homes Guar­an­tee will out­line stan­dards to help en­sure op­ti­mal tem­per­a­tures can be achieved.’’

REINZ reg­u­larly is­sues ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial to its prop­erty man­agers to en­sure they un­der­stand their re­quire­ments un­der the cur­rent leg­is­la­tion.

‘‘Our ad­vice to land­lords is not to leave it to the last minute when it comes to in­stalling in­su­la­tion which is re­quired by mid 2019, as they may strug­gle to meet the re­quire­ments in time – es­pe­cially if they are look­ing to use a spe­cial­ist provider for in­stal­la­tion,’’ Nor­well said.

JOHN BISSET/FAIR­FAX NZ

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute chief ex­ec­u­tive, Bindi Nor­well.

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