PM commits to insulating Housing New Zealand homes


In a Herald On Sunday story, John Key calls for all landlords to insulate rentals and says he will personally ensure that Housing New Zealand properties are insulated by the end of next year.


Call for landlords to insulate homes
By Susan Edmunds


Original article here.

The Prime Minister has backed the Herald on Sunday's Warm Homes campaign with a warning that if incentives aren't enough to persuade landlords to insulate their cold, damp rental properties, then the Government may force their hand.

John Key grew up in a cold Christchurch state house with no insulation.

His house-proud mother kept the house faultlessly clean. But there was nothing to stop heat evaporating through the walls, ceilings and floors.

Now, Key says he will personally ensure that Housing New Zealand insulates all the properties that it can by the end of next year - and he'll be wielding a carrot or a stick to make sure all private landlords do the same.

The Herald on Sunday has this month been campaigning to get more homes insulated, either by extending government funding schemes or through legislation in problem areas, such as rental accommodation.

Now, Housing Minister Phil Heatley has scheduled a meeting this coming week with Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei to discuss extending the scheme's funding.

And the Prime Minister reveals in today's paper that the Government will consider incentives or regulations to ensure private landlords insulate rental properties.

"Once our house is in order, we can have a conversation about considering regulations and/or incentives so private rental accommodation that does not have insulation is upgraded," he says.

Of the 230,000 houses insulated with a Warm Up New Zealand subsidy, just 25,000 have been rentals. That's only 5 per cent of the country's rental stock - leaving an estimated 1,000,000 rental properties uninsulated.

The Warm Up scheme has been operating since 2009 and provides a 33 per cent subsidy, or up to $1300, for the cost of retrofitting insulation into houses built before 2000. For Community Services Cardholders, or their landlords, a 60 per cent subsidy is avai

So why aren't landlords insulating? Property investors' reactions have been mixed. While almost all agree that insulation is a good thing, some say they need more than a 33 per cent subsidy to make it worth their while. Others retort that the benefits to tenants' health and the value of properties makes insulating a no-brainer.