Housing WOFs to be tested in 5 NZ cities

17 Dec 2013

Housing WOFs to be tested in 5 NZ

A national plan directed during creation rental
housing safer to live in, generally for children and the
elderly, will flog off subsequent month with ‘warrant of
fitness’ margin tests in 5 New Zealand cities.

assessment experts will exam 25 let properties any in
Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin
against 28 measures. These will embody criteria such as
warmth (or ability to effectively heat), dryness, cover and
dampness, damage risk, sanitation, simple state-of-repair and
living needs.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says it is widely
known that many of New Zealand’s comparison housing batch is
cold and damp and falls next a building standards of many
other OECD countries.

“We are operative with the
government, not-for-profit and private sectors to tackle
Auckland’s housing affordability and availability
challenges, so it is usually wise we take a corner approach
to improving housing quality, generally for a more
vulnerable members of a community,” says Len Brown.
“The dankness of many of a comparison homes is well
documented as contributing to respiratory and allergic
disorders such as asthma and rheumatic fever.”

The field
tests will be an critical step towards standardising
methodologies and checklists between internal supervision bodies
to safeguard a credit of a WOF scheme. They’ll run
throughout Jan and Feb 2014, with a formula due
to be published in March.

The let housing WOF field
test involves a Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington,
Christchurch and Dunedin councils, a Accident Compensation
Corporation (ACC), New Zealand Green Building Council and
the University of Otago (Wellington).

The comment tool
was grown by a NZ Green Building Council and
University of Otago (Wellington) with feedback and input
from a 5 councils, ACC and other housing

ACC’s Programme Manager for Home Safety, Megan
Nagel, says: “ACC is ancillary a aver of aptness trial
as partial of a concentration on shortening injuries in and around the

“Environmental factors such as bad lighting and
maintenance, sleazy surfaces and stairs and stairs
contribute to many home injuries. By assisting to address
factors such as these, a housing aver of aptness will
potentially support efforts to move damage rates

Leigh Featherstone, Homestar Director during a New
Zealand Green Building Council, says a support of ACC and
the cities concerned shows a clever corner joining to
improving internal housing and health.

“We wish that by the
end of this plan there’ll be a operative apparatus to rate
rental standards nationally. This will make certain rental
housing isn’t endangering a health of a families
living in it. The long-term boon will be improved health,
particularly of a kids and


When will a field
tests start?

The tests will start in Jan and run
through to a finish of February. The formula will be
published in March.

What will the
assessment cover?

The comment uses 31 criteria, an
associated checklist and a technical primer to guide
assessors. See Attachment 1 for a criteria and

How prolonged will it

The comment should take usually about an hour
from when a assessor enters a front doorway to when they

What does a comment aim to

The comment aims to brand either the
rental skill meets simple housing peculiarity standards that
impact on a following areas: regard (or ability to
effectively heat), dryness, cover and dampness, damage risk,
sanitation, simple state-of-repair and simple vital needs.
These factors impact a health and reserve of the

Why is a WOF being deliberate in a first

Housing is one of a pivotal material
determinants of health and well-being. New Zealand housing
is of a reduce peculiarity than many OECD countries and several
national surveys and investigate studies have shown that
private let housing is in poorer condition than either
social housing, or houses that are owners occupied. Living in
substandard housing is severely deleterious a health of New
Zealanders with children from low-income families, Māori
and Pacific peoples disproportionately affected. Over 70% of
all children who are in misery live in let accommodation
(20% in Housing New Zealand housing and 50% in private

The Children’s Commission’s Expert Working
Group on Solutions to Child Poverty suggest the
introduction of a Rental Housing Warrant of Fitness (WOF) as
a means to addressing a health and reserve of a large
proportion of children vital in bad peculiarity private rental

In addition, any year, ACC receives around
600,000 claims for injuries that occur in or around the
home. It is estimated that around 30% of home injuries are
caused by environmental factors such as bad maintenance,
slippery surfaces, paths, stairs and stairs as good as poor

The altogether aims of this partnership organisation for a
WOF is to urge a health, peculiarity of life and energy
bills for those in let accommodation.

What is the
Government doing?

The NZ Government signalled it
wants to rise a WOF for use primarily on a 69,000
Housing NZ properties with a intensity wider roll-out to
other areas http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/housing-wof-be-developed-and-trialled

does this margin exam describe to a Government’s

The parties in this agreement will share the
assessment apparatus and a commentary with a Government with a
view to combine to emanate one WOF comment apparatus that
can be practical in a amicable and private rental

Have other countries implemented a
Warrant of Fitness?

Yes, in 2001 a United Kingdom
established a ‘Decent Homes’ standard, that states that
houses should be warm, weatherproof and have reasonably
modern facilities. Rather than assessing opposite a fixed
standard, a HHSRS employs a risk comment proceed to
enable risks from hazards to health and reserve in dwellings
to be minimised. The complement relates to all dwellings,
regardless of ownership.

What form of properties will
be involved?

There will be a reduction of private
rental properties and Council amicable housing

How will a homes be selected?
individual councils concerned in a margin exam will recruit
landlords to proffer to attend and a councils will
also name a representation of their amicable housing portfolio for
the margin test.

Who will control the

Each legislature concerned in a project
will be obliged for identifying use providers to
conduct a assessment. This might be Council staff (i.e.
environmental health officers or eco pattern advisors) or
independent contractors with knowledge in home assessments.
All of a assessors will bear training with the
checklist and technical primer before to a assessments

Will a homes be removing an actual
“warrant of fitness” rating?

No, this plan is
just to exam a breeze comment apparatus to see how practical
and serviceable it is. The homes will not accept an tangible WOF

Landlords will be presented with a assessment
findings to assistance them know how their properties
performed in a assessment. Landlords will also be provided
with information such as insulation schemes, screen banks
and other ominous material.

What are we predicting
for pass/fail rates?

We are presaging a relatively
high destroy rate. New Zealand’s housing batch has
well-documented peculiarity problems (i.e. miss of insulation,
dampness and unsound heating) and there are some
fundamental things that are blank in many homes to keep
them warm, dry, healthy and safe.

What other objectives
do we have?

We wish to accumulate feedback from
participating landlords on effective and pure ways of
engaging with a let housing sector. We wish to
understand landlords’ practice to carrying their house
inspected, their feedback on a margin exam and their
post-inspection intentions.

We wish to know what
type of tenant-education element will be effective and
useful to be delivered in and with a housing WOF
assessment to assistance residence issues associated to occupant
behaviour (e.g. venting a home scrupulously and a use of
un-flued gas heaters causing dampness problems and health

We wish to know tenants’ experiences
towards carrying their homes legalised and their understanding
of a benefits, or otherwise, of a WOF.
We wish to share
the formula of a margin exam with a Government and
collaborate with a perspective to producing one effective WOF tool
for all of New


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