PHOTO: The Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson. Te Ao Māori News
The Green Party has unveiled its Pledge to Renters policy, guaranteeing secure, livable, and affordable homes for all tenants if elected to government. In a move to address the current housing crisis, the party commits to making rent consistently affordable while ensuring that rental properties are warm, dry, and conducive to good health. Additionally, the Green Party has pledged to construct numerous affordable homes to meet the growing demand.
In an impassioned statement, Co-leader Marama Davidson criticized the lack of action from previous administrations, resulting in thousands of individuals enduring exorbitant costs for substandard and unsanitary living conditions, detrimentally impacting their well-being. She emphasized that the rental market has become a monopoly-like game, disproportionately affecting the 1.4 million New Zealanders who rely on rented accommodation.
To enact change swiftly, the Green Party plans to introduce the Renters Rights Bill within their first 100 days in office. The bill encompasses crucial reforms such as rent controls to restrict annual increases, the implementation of a Rental Warrant of Fitness for homes, and the establishment of a national register to track landlords and property managers, providing transparency regarding ownership and rental prices.
Davidson stressed the connection between expensive, unhealthy housing and poverty, highlighting that the Green Party’s comprehensive approach aims to eradicate poverty in New Zealand. Alongside the Pledge to Renters, the party’s Income Guarantee will ensure a minimum income of $385 per week after tax, elevating every individual out of poverty. Davidson expressed the party’s commitment to continue advocating for these changes and urged voters to support Green MPs and Ministers who will champion these issues.
Furthermore, the Green Party aims to construct more affordable and healthy homes in desirable locations and expedite the public building program to make housing accessible to low-income individuals.
Co-leader James Shaw emphasized that access to warm and safe housing is a fundamental human right. Decades of accepting subpar housing conditions have put people’s health at risk, particularly children who often experience respiratory illnesses due to living in damp and mold-infested homes. Shaw urged political parties to wholeheartedly commit to the cause, emphasizing that any hesitation would only make life more challenging for thousands of people.
The Green Party asserts that the solutions for safe, healthy, affordable, and warm homes already exist in New Zealand. What is needed is the political willpower to implement them.