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Rental Warrant of Fitness for Wellington

Wellington campus

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Philippa Howden-Chapman and Mayor Justin Lester
Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman and Mayor Justin Lester

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced.

“We want to lift rental standards in our city and make better accommodation available for people. Every Wellingtonian deserves a warm, dry home, says the Mayor.

“We’re pleased to announce the first rental warrant of fitness in New Zealand, alongside public health experts from the University of Otago.

“We’re partnering with the University and will be launching an app that will allow tenants and landlords to check their house against minimum health standards designed by experts, and allow landlords to request a full inspection by a professional to be certified as meeting the standard.

“This will give landlords the chance to promote their house as being warm and dry, and give prospective renters an assurance the home they are looking to live in meets the standard.

“All available analysis strongly indicates that improved quality of housing leads to improving health, social and financial outcomes.

Lucy Telfar-Barnard
Dr Lucy Telfar-Barnard

Deputy Mayor and Housing Portfolio Leader Paul Eagle says improving the quality of the housing stock was a key goal for the Council.

“This is just the start – through our Long Term Plan we will be introducing a Wellington Housing Quality Standard that will incorporate both personal health and earthquake resilience, and be tailored to Wellington’s needs. Information from this voluntary scheme will help inform the permanent standard Council introduces, he says.

Philippa Howden-Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington, says “The Rental Warrant of Fitness is the first scheme in the country that’s taking action and helping raise the standards of our homes. It focuses on areas of the home that we know have the greatest chance of improving the occupants’ health.

“We will be launching the Rental Warrant of Fitness in Wellington on August 28 and I urge landlords to get behind this and use it as a tool to raise the level of their property to a minimum standard.

Council will consider the partnership for approval at next week’s City Strategy Meeting on the 24th of August.

For further information contact:

Professor Howden-Chapman
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
Email: philippa.howden-chapman@otago.ac.nz

Dr Lucy Telfar-Barnard
Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
Email: lucy.telfar-barnard@otago.ac.nz

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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