“The ACT Party is proud to have forced the government into evening the playing field for private landlords,” says ACT’s Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Until very recently Labour insisted that Kainga Ora homes would meet the Healthy Homes standards on schedule. Last week ACT obtained information that Labour was set to give Kainga Ora an extension, but not private landlords.

“Thanks to ACT exposing this, Housing Minister Megan Woods has now said that the extension is not just for Kainga Ora, everyone will get it.

“Labour has been caught out. Its plan was to announce the changes to property manager regulations and meth testing standards and sneak through the extension for Kainga Ora only.

“ACT has scared Labour into giving private landlords a break. This is an enormous victory. Labour will no doubt claim it intended to give all landlords a break all along. If that is so, they should produce the evidence. We believe they are now giving private landlords a break because they got caught on the hop.

“These aren’t Healthy Homes Standards, they’re double standards. Private landlords were expected to comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy from 1 July 2021. The Government has given itself years and still can’t get up to speed.

“The Government has painted private landlords as villains. The reality is many landlords have had so many regulations and costs piled onto them by the Government, they’ve had no choice but to raise rents.

“It would be better if the Government stopped putting costly regulations onto housing. If people want to upgrade their home, or move to a better rental, they will. If their priorities are elsewhere, they should not be forced to pay because Government regulations insist on it.

“The Government seems to think the Healthy Home Standards they’ve imposed on Kiwi landlords don’t apply to them. The Housing Minister needs to explain why she has such high standards for landlords when she’s not bothering to meet them herself.”

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Brooke van Velden