Christchurch City Council will take part in a nationwide project early next year aimed at making rental housing safer to live in — especially for children, students and the elderly.
A national rental housing “warrant of fitness” (WOF) trial will begin in January 2014 and run until the end of February, with results from the trial published in March.
Some 125 rental properties — 25 in each participating city — will be evaluated by home assessment experts in Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Dunedin. The trial will help to standardise methodologies and checklists to ensure the credibility of the WOF scheme.
Christchurch City Council Housing Committee Chairman Glenn Livingstone says the trial is good news for tenants, as it marks a significant first step in identifying those rentals which are not fit-for-purpose.
“It’s unfortunately well-known that much of New Zealand’s older housing is cold and damp and of lower build standards than many other OECD countries. It’s also well-known that poor housing conditions can contribute to more severe asthma, rheumatic fever and other housing-related illnesses. The warrant-of-fitness trial is a positive step towards addressing poor-performing rental housing and supporting warm, energy-efficient and healthier housing for tenants,” he says.
The assessment tool was developed by the NZ Green Building Council and the University of Otago, with feedback and input from the five councils, ACC and other housing experts.
Source: CCC media release