Although UnitedFuture today voted in favour of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, allowing it to be sent to Select Committee. UnitedFuture leader, Peter Dunne, says a rethink is needed when it comes to the issue of ensuring healthy homes and healthy families.
“It’s a basic good to have a warm and safe place to call home, but when it comes to the Government setting bottom-lines for rentals, the key issue is affordability and that’s what I’m calling on the select committee to consider”.
The Bill, which passed its First Reading in Parliament today because of Dunne’s vote, requires the development of a minimum standard of heating, insulation, draught stops ventilation and temperature in all rental properties in New Zealand, but it does not provide any relief for the rising costs that will likely be passed on to renters.
“It’s a noble cause to want to increase housing standards but what we need to focus on is increasing the ability of renters and landlords to be able to access affordable ways of heating and future-proofing their houses.
“It’s all very well to require a method of heating, but that doesn’t mean much if you can’t afford the increased cost of electricity”, Mr Dunne said.
UnitedFuture policy does not see government mandate as the solution to housing standards and the Party would rather see the Government set aside funding to provide landlords and renters access to technology and resource to future-proof their homes and make them warmer and more affordable.
In supporting this Bill to Select Committee, Mr Dunne said that his support is qualified.
“This Bill must do more to address how to provide support to those most in need to ensure them a healthy home that is also an affordable one. This now puts the ball firmly in the Government’s court to respond with detailed policy of its own in this area.
“United Future’s position on this Bill is dependent on the Government’s response and nothing should be taken for granted at this stage”, said Mr Dunne.