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National more 'concerned about the back pocket of property investors than sick kids', say Greens

The Green Party have labelled National's stance on rental changes as being "more concerned about the back pocket of property investors than sick kids and the elderly".

The Government's new standards for healthy homes were released yesterday, outlining minimum requirements for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in residential rental properties.

National Party leader Simon Bridges said he wanted to "see things improve", but was concerned about the cost of a possible capital gains tax in addition to the healthy homes initiative hitting landlords at the same time.

"If you do all this in one big bang, say, 'Right, let's pile all this on,' … there's thousands of dollars of cost – who's going to pay that? It won't be the landlord,"

"They won’t, because they won't have to – it'll be the renter, and they're already 40 bucks more a week worse off under this Government."

But Greens co-leader Marama Davidsons said in a statement today: "The National Party is more concerned about the back pocket of property investors than sick kids and the elderly".

Ms Davidson said there were thousands of children and elderly with respiratory diseases linked to mould and damp in their rental property.

"Most landlords are doing the right thing and are happy to invest the money in their properties to make it warm and dry. If landlords can only justify an investment by leasing out a property that makes New Zealanders sick, then they shouldn’t be in the business."

On RNZ's Morning Report, National housing spokesperson Judith Collins said that is was "very difficult to see anything Housing Minister Phil Twyford has done or the Government is doing that isn't an attack on residential landlords". 

Ms Davidson said it "beggars belief", saying Ms Collins was championing "the plight of a minority of landlords who don’t want to spend the money making their investment property safe".

"We will continue to implement policy that prioritises the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders," she said. 

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    Landlords will now have to install a heater in the main living room of rental properties and stop drafts that make heating the home harder. Source: 1 NEWS