Scoop.co.nz has reported (17/10/2014) on a call on the Government to extend its Warrant of Fitness (WOF) trial on state housing rentals to all homes in New Zealand. This would effectively prevent owners from putting homes on the market until they complied with the Code.
Dave Wilson, from Jennian Homes has challenged the three new housing ministers to ensure that all homes in New Zealand meet the same WOF. Finance Minister Bill English is now head of Housing NZ, Nick Smith has responsibility for affordable housing issue as Minister of Building and Housing and Paula Bennett is in a new role as the Minister for Social Housing.
He stresses that Jennian has nothing to profit or gain from this but feels it is his social responsibility to drive any initiative that will produce healthier and safer homes for all New Zealanders.
This proposal would force homeowners and landlords wishing to sell to invest in their houses which would increase their value. Homes would become cheaper to run and healthier.
Prime Minister, John Key, feels that social housing providers should play a significant role in ensuring more housing for low-income families.
If the incoming Government deems the WOF trial earlier this year a success, it will be extended to the entire housing stock. Approximately $9 million would be required to achieve this. Requirements of the rental WOF included home insulation, smoke alarms, ventilation, dry under-floor spaces, hot-water temperature controls and handrails.
Mr Wilson says many homes would fail even the basic requirements of the Building Code but he feels that every Kiwi deserves to live in safe and affordable housing. He is concerned at the significant level of asthma sufferers in NZ. The EECA estimate that as many as 600,000 homes in New Zealand have insufficient home insulation.