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Respiratory Community Welcomes Healthier Rental Housing

From today (Thursday 1 July), all private rentals must comply with the Government’s Healthy Homes Standards within 90 days of a new or renewed tenancy. The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) welcomes the implementation of these new standards, which will make it easier for tenants to keep their homes warm, dry and healthy.

The Healthy Homes Standards ensure all rental properties must meet a minimum standard for heating, ventilation, insulation, draft proofing, moisture ingress, and drainage. With nearly 600,000 households renting in New Zealand, and research showing that rental properties are generally of poorer quality than owner-occupied homes, these standards are a vital step toward all Kiwis being able to live healthily.

"This is great news for all tenants, and especially for those living with a respiratory condition," says Letitia Harding, Chief Executive of ARFNZ. "Living in a warm and dry environment is good for everyone, but for people with a respiratory condition it is vital for them to stay well.

"There is a well-established link between cold, damp homes and poor respiratory health outcomes, including hospitalisation for conditions like asthma. Poor living conditions have greatly contributed to health inequity, and it is great to see the Government making a start in addressing this problem."

Glenda Brown is Director of eHaus - New Zealand leaders in Passive House design and construction, and members of ARFNZ’s Friend of the Foundation sponsorship programme.

"All New Zealanders should be living in a healthy environment, and we are pleased to see initial work being done around landlords’ responsibility to ensure tenants are renting healthier homes," says Glenda. "We hope this will be the catalyst for more change as we seek to build sustainably into the future. To ensure our homes are healthy, we should minimise energy leakage by closing off draughts and fitting double glazing with an adequate ventilation system. This helps combat mould growing behind the walls - the stuff you don’t see but which is linked directly to respiratory illness."

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