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Unhealthy State Of NZ Homes a Disgrace

28 June 2013

Unhealthy State Of NZ Homes a Disgrace

HRV supports the findings of the world's largest-ever study on the link between damp homes and respiratory illness, and believes the time for action is now.

The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, involving 46,000 children in 20 countries, including New Zealand, found living in damp or mouldy homes was associated with asthma, allergies, hayfever and eczema.

HRV chief executive, Bruce Gordon, says he is not surprised by the results of the study. “It reinforces what other research has highlighted – a significant amount of New Zealand’s housing stock is in a shocking state and is impacting on the health of many New Zealanders, especially children.

“Our teams visit over 1,500 houses around the country every week and see the unhealthy conditions Kiwis are living in. With the knowledge we have gained we are keen to support the Government in its efforts to improve the standard of housing in New Zealand.”

HRV recently supported Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith’s proposal of a housing ‘warrant of fitness’ and has offered to match Dr Smith’s commitment by assisting with a full audit of the New Zealand housing stock, both public and private.

“We also commend the Government on the Warm Up NZ scheme which has focused on insulating homes, as a first step. However, it only provides one leg of the three legged stool needed to deliver a healthy home – the other two legs being ventilation and heating.

“Including these two key requirements in the national agenda is long overdue. HRV wishes to help the Government and local councils to significantly improve the standard of living for Kiwis, in particular, children and the elderly with appropriate ventilation in homes.

“To help remove triggers for various respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, for which this country suffers one of the highest rates in the world, we need a whole home solution, including heating, ventilation and cooling, which HRV provides.

“To date, HRV has been instrumental in alerting New Zealanders to the dangers inherent in a poorly ventilated, damp home. We have improved 130,000 New Zealand homes, providing drier, warmer, filtered air - and the other 900,000 homes deserve it also,” continues Gordon.

ENDS

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