Healthy Homes Bill win for Kiwis, NZIBS says

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Labour leader Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill is a “big win for Kiwis”, according to the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors (NZIBS).

The Bill, which had its first reading in Parliament recently, aims to set minimum standards for insulation, heating and ventilation in rental properties throughout the country.

NZIBS executive member, and a Registered Building Surveyor with more than 10 years’ New Zealand construction sector experience, Nick Gaites, says healthy homes should be available for all Kiwis.

“An adequate combination of heating, ventilation and insulation is important for a warm, dry and healthy indoor environment,” he says.

“This Bill goes some way to providing that for residential tenants, and is an improvement of current Government policy, with the inclusion of heating and ventilation to the existing insulation requirements.”

The NZIBS would like to see a provision for movement towards achieving a “comprehensive minimum standard for rental housing”, as recommended by Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment over time, Mr Gaites says.

“But this Bill, if passed, will be a big win for Kiwis living in cold, damp and unhealthy rental accommodation.

“Legislation such as this will likely stimulate growth in the construction industry, providing additional jobs in companies who provide heating, insulation and ventilation services.”

Although the Bill could have negative impacts such as increased construction costs, Mr Gaites says benefits to the housing stock and renters far outweigh those.

“The downside of this is possible price inflation in an already hot construction market, due to the lack of a skilled workforce to carry out the work, and a stretched supply chain due to the current building boom.

“Some landlords will no doubt complain about the additional costs imposed upon them, but the benefits to the New Zealand housing stock and renting population are great,” Mr Gaites says.