Legislating for warm dry health homes

Newshub:  Mouldy homes causing children’s asthma – study

Half of New Zealand homes have mould in them, and new research shows a link between this and asthma in children.

A study carried out by researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, shows that mould makes asthma worse but can also lead to the development of a first asthma attack in young children.

The study, published on Wednesday in the international journal Indoor Air was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

It investigated the homes of 150 children who had visited their GPs for their first prescribed asthma medication, and compared them to the homes of 300 matched children who had never wheezed.

We found that mould and leaks were more likely to be found in the bedrooms and homes of children who had just started wheezing compared to the children who had never wheezed,” says the study’s lead author, Dr Caroline Shorter.

“The amount of mould present in the bedroom made a difference – the more mould, the greater the risk that children would start wheezing.

“We urgently need to improve the quality of our children’s home environments.”

Grant Robertson:

Every child deserves to grow up in a warm, dry healthy home. Labour will make this the law.

Newhub:

Good insulation, working extractor fans, good heating throughout the home and secure windows that open are important, Dr Shorter said.

Frequent checks should be made for mould, she said.

“We need to reduce moisture in our homes by not drying clothes inside, and opening windows often to improve ventilation, even for just 10 minutes a day.”

How is this going to be legislated for? House police that do spot checks to make sure everyone is heating and ventilating their whole house and not drying washing inside?

Ensuring every house is warm, dry and safe

Andrew Little just tweeted:

I’m sending a letter to John Key asking him to ensure that every rental is warm, dry and safe.

Add your name here: http://go.labour.org.nz/healthy-homes

I couldn’t resist replying:

@AndrewLittleMP Do you want @JohnKeyNZ to personally ensure every rental is warm dry and safe, or should an army of checker uppers be used?

Most of my house is cold right now. The lounge has been heated for a while, and I’ve just switched on heating in the bedroom to warm it up. I turn a heater on in the bathroom when I have a shower, then turn it off again.

If we don’t dehumidify or ventilate then any room in our house gets damp, and if we aren’t vigilant we can get mould.

But I don’t want heat and humidity checkers coming around threatening to arrest us if we aren’t warm or dry enough.

Ok, we don’t have a rental property, we sort of own it. But we often have a young child staying (and don’t heat their bedroom through the night).

How the hell can John Key “personally ensure every rental is warm dry and safe”?

Here is Little’s letter:

Open Letter to John Key:

Dear Prime Minister John Key,

We are writing to you to seek your cooperation in ensuring that New Zealanders who rent have warm, healthy homes.

We know that, like all New Zealanders, you will have been deeply upset by the coroner’s finding that a state house was so cold, damp, and unhealthy that it contributed to the death of two year old Emma-Lita Bourne.

That should never happen in New Zealand and is a matter that is beyond party politics. It goes to the core of who we are as a society.

Your party has said that it wants to fix the issue of cold, damp rentals, and we believe that commitment is genuine. Now we want you to work constructively with us; to take the next step and ensure every rental property has insulation and effective heating.

We welcome news that the Government is working on some standards for rentals but we are concerned that they will not be strong enough. We need to ensure that all rental houses will be warm, dry, and safe for the families that live in them.

When Parliament next sits, Labour will be seeking leave to re-introduce the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that will set standards for insulation and heating in rental properties. We want to work with you to find a way that National can support this Bill and help ensure that every Kiwi house is a safe and healthy home.

Yours,

Andrew Little, Leader of the Opposition
and 786 other New Zealanders.

Go sign it if you like:http://go.labour.org.nz/healthy-homes

But note that there are no specifics about how warm, dry and safe houses can be ensured.

Perhaps you can let Little know how it could be ensured. A heater for every room, a humidifier for every house, and a $500 per month power credit for every household?

Little has been captured by the banal bullshit brigade.