The Healthy Homes Commitment

The Renters United Healthy Homes Commitment (PDF, 129kb) affirms everyone’s right to a healthy home by:

  • Providing councils with the tools to ensure homes in their are keeping their communities healthy
  • Providing councils with data that empowers them to provide informed and targeted support to the areas that need it the most

Our homes aren’t getting much healthier. While awareness of the Healthy Homes Standards amongst landlords and renters and landlords has grown1, the most recent Healthy Homes Topline Report shows the number of renters with issues related to dampness, mould and heating has remained the same.2

Bar graphs showing 57% of renters had issues with dampness or mould and 55% had issues with heating or keeping warm in 2021.

Private rental housing continues to be in poorer condition than either social housing, or houses that are owner occupied. Several national surveys and studies have shown consistent results, regardless of the measurement tool used.3

Unhealthy homes make our communities sick. “New Zealand research has shown how low indoor temperatures and mould impair children’s lung function, that almost 28,000 hospitalisations per year are for diseases potentially attributable to inadequate housing, that exposure to poor housing conditions is associated with increased risk of rheumatic fever, and that hazards and lack of safety features in the home increase the risk of injury.”4

Intervention makes a difference. In almost all cases investigated under the Healthy Homes Initiative households received an intervention that improved the house’s condition5 and these interventions improved people’s health.6

Meaningful enforcement is the missing piece of the puzzle. A recent investigation by Renters United found only 9/50 applications to the tribunal where a tenant claimed a breach of the Healthy Homes standards were successful7. Local Councils are empowered under the Health Act to ensure homes in their community are healthy. It’s time they used that power.

Get involved!

What can I do as a renter?

Can I volunteer for the campaign?

Are you a candidate? Sign the commitment now!

The renters united logo next to stick people standing in front of houses

Authorised by Geordie Rogers, 6/2 Ohiro Road, Aro Valley, Wellington


  1. Healthy Homes Act Topline Report, Kantar Public, Colmar Brunton, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development,,  p.8
  2. Ibid p.27
  3. Housing Warrant of Fitness Assessment Manual, Version 3.0, New Zealand Green Council, University of Otago,, p.3
  4. What can we learn from Healthy Housing Initiatives? New Evidence from the Wellington Well Homes scheme, Elinor Chisholm, Nevil Pierse, Cheryl Davies, Philippa Howden-Chapman,
  5. Ibid
  6. Healthy Homes Initiative, Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora,
  7. Recent HH Tribunal Rulings, Renters United,