February 12, 2021
Rental changes good for whanau Maori
Māori public health advocacy group Hāpai Te Hauora says changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act are a welcome reprieve for whānau who have been discriminated against in a rental system that privileges the rights of landlords.
Changes coming into effect today include rent increases limited to once every 12 months, tenants able to make minor changes to the rental property, and prohibitions on rental bidding.
Hāpai CEO Selah Hart says a large majority of Māori are living in rental properties and locked out of home ownership by the housing crisis, but they still have a right to live in a house that they can call a home.
Māori public health policy analyst Renei Ngawati says landlords have been able to discriminate against prospective tenants based on ethnicity, whānau configuration and income.
Whānau have the right to live in safe neighbourhoods, where they can raise their families.
The location of a rental can often determine or influence how whānau make decisions about their futures.
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