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Report shows dire need for healthy homes

Hon Phil Twyford

Minister for Housing and Urban Development

1 May 2018

MEDIA STATEMENT

A new report finding the number of children hospitalised with asthma has nearly doubled since 2002 shows the dire need for the Government’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Act, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says.

The Massey University report found an increase of 45 per cent in the rates of Kiwi children hospitalised with asthma from 473 per 100,000 in 2002 to 688 per 100,000 in 2016.

“One of the triggers for asthma is living in damp or mouldy houses. Until our Government passed the Health Homes Guarantee Act last year, there were no nationwide standards for heating, ventilation, draught stopping, drainage or moisture in rental properties.

“This report found more than 6000 children under the age of 15 were hospitalised with asthma in 2016.

“Anyone with an asthmatic child will understand how distressing is it watching them struggle to breath. No child should suffer like that from poor quality housing.

“The majority of landlords provide warm, dry houses and will have to do little to meet the new standards.

“The former National government stood beside a few slum landlords and opposed this law change. Our Government stands up for the health of our families,” Phil Twyford says.

The Government will begin consulting on the standards with tenants, landlords, public health and building science experts and industry representatives later this year.

Under the law any new property tenanted must be either properly insulated and contain a heating source able to make the home warm and dry. All tenancies must meet the new standards by July 2024.


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