A warrant of Fitness scheme will be trialled on state
homes in Otago and Southland, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith
But Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said his housing
Bill would make more people drier and warmer.
Dr Smith said 500 state homes - including 20 homes in Otago
and 20 in Southland - would have their insulation,
ventilation, roofing and cladding, smoke alarms, handrails,
power points and kitchen and bathroom functioning checked by
The cost of fixing any deficiencies would be revealed later
this year and it would then be determined whether the
benefits of the Wof standard exceeded the costs.
A wider application of the scheme to other social housing
providers or the private rental market had not been
discussed, Dr Smith said.
''We want to be sure it is practical and cost-effective
before we consider applying it in the private sector.''
Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said Dr Smith was
refusing to tackle the problem of unfit private rental
''Most poor people live in private rentals. Only 4% of Kiwis
live in state houses.''
Many of the children living in ''damp and cold'' private
rental houses were sick, he said.
Mr Twyford said the Government should support his Healthy
Homes Guarantee Bill to set minimum standards for insulation
and efficient heating for all rental properties, including
the private sector, Dr Smith said he would not support the
Bill, because it had a ''glaring flaw''.
''It would effectively banish tens of thousands of homes from
being able to be rented.''
If landlords did not meet the Bill's requirements in a week,
then the rental property could not be tenanted, he said.
''It would be impossible for landlords to meet that
The Bill would result in a greater housing shortage, Dr Smith
Mr Twyford said Dr Smith's statement was ''ridiculous''.
''It [the Bill] is phased in over a five-year period. Only
when a new tenancy agreement is signed does a landlord have
to certify that the property meets the standards.''