media release Monday 27th august 2018

“Today is another step towards a more just and fair rental market, especially for the tens of thousands of people struggling with high rents and low incomes,” says New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) Policy Advisor Paul Barber. “We are delighted to see that the Government is asking for public feedback on more changes to the law to make life better for renters.”

NZCCSS supports the call for change in rental laws and the Government’s focus on improving security of tenure, controlling rent increases, further controls on boarding houses, as well as better ways of enforcing renting law.

“We urge people to take the chance to have their voice and their story heard to help bring about change for renters,” says Paul Barber. “The Plan to Fix Renting launched last month by Renters United is a great resource of ideas for positive change which the Government’s proposals can be measured against.”

The private rental market is a very unequal place. Most landlords want to do the right thing, but the combination of lack of knowledge and skills plus a group of property managers and landlords that have little respect for the rules adds up to huge unfairness and injustice.

Nearly nine tenths of all rental households rent in the private rental market.  Around 160,000 of children living in poverty live in rental housing and they are likely be in rental housing for much of their childhood. People living with a disability are also significantly more likely to be living in rental housing.

“This is a once in a decade chance to bring about change that will help overcome the very large and growing inequalities in our communities”, says Paul Barber. “We know from the experience of the social services in the communities they work with how important a good quality rental house at an affordable rent is to help people to improve their lives.  It helps people to plan and think about the future, to find and keep a job, help their children succeed in education, and look after their health better”.

Contact person for comment:

Paul Barber, NZCCSS Policy Advisor 04 4732627 or 0274732006