Clare Curran and Phil Twyford take a closer look at mould on windows in Karyn and Graeme McDougall's council-owned flat. Photo by Samantha McPherson.
Ventilating your home will help alleviate condensation and
mould issues, Dunedin City Council City property housing
manager Sharron Tipa says.
The message comes after Labour Dunedin South MP Clare Curran
and housing spokesman Phil Twyford used a council-owned flat
as an example of South Dunedin's cold, damp housing issues
earlier this week.
The flat is one of many that has been re-roofed, re-insulated
in the roof space and underfloor, fitted with thermalined
walls, and had a bathroom fan heater installed by the
Tenants Graeme and Karyn McDougall have also been given a
three-bar heater, which they do not use.
Mrs Tipa said walls were being re-aligned in the flat to see
if that would help get rid of some of the issues but the
council ''can't heat the air by just insulating'' the flat.
''It's a bit of education.
''You have to maintain the air flow to help keep the place
dry when you can. The colder it gets, the wetter it gets,''
But the McDougalls say they still have issues with mould and
''The condensation . . . we can't get rid of it,'' Mr
''We wipe the windows down every day.
''There's mould on the window sills and it is causing health
issues. We try and we try to not complain but when it comes
to your health, you have to,'' he said.
''Using the heater turns the power bill into a monstrosity.
It's a ridiculous problem that two people on the pension
''We wrap ourselves up in blankets. We can't do without
them,'' he said.
Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said a ''warrant of
fitness'' Bill to change the Residential Tenancies Act would
require landlords to meet certain standards for insulation
and provide an effective heating source before a property was
''It won't make every house perfect but it will help. It is a
big step to making sure people have warm, dry homes,'' he
Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said the ''devil's in the
''Labour's simplistic warrant of fitness Bill lacks
''The Bill says each landlord has three years to insulate
their house except in the event of a tenancy change.
''Every week there are thousands of properties that change
tenancies. It would be a nightmare to say a moment that
tenancy expires the home has to be insulated,'' Dr Smith
The Bill would take thousands of houses out of the rental
market adding to the problem of shortages and rent increases.