Students disappointed over housing bill

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Due to an unexpected use of urgency, Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill came before the Parliament last tonight.

Students had been urging politicians of all parties to put partisan politics aside and support the bill that promised to dramatically improve the lives of thousands of New Zealand’s students.

Twyford’s bill would have require landlords to meet standards for insulation and heating, to be set by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

National student president Rory McCourt said “For thousands of New Zealand’s students living in places like Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Palmerston North this bill would have brought hope for winters without colds and flats without mould.”

“A crappy flat is no longer a badge of pride; nor is it cheap. Even in Dunedin the average student now spends almost 70% of their income on paying rent due to rising housing costs in recent years. Rightly- they expect warm, dry accommodation for that not insubstantial sum. Times have changed and the law needs to change with them.” said McCourt.

“We can’t wait for Nick Smith to take another 18 months to trial minimum standards in state housing and then maybe extend it to the private market, if he feels like it.”

“Rents jumped 9% last year. A lot of students are paying through the nose for cold, damp flats. We just want affordable housing that doesn’t make us sick.” said McCourt.

“We’re disappointed National was more interested in political point scoring than ensuring the next generation of doctors, nurses, teachers and business people can focus on their studies, rather than being sick due to poor quality housing.” concluded McCourt.

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The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations exists to advance the political, social and economic interests of tertiary students whatever they study and wherever they live. NZUSA is a membership body of local students' associatons. We believe in opportunity for all.

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