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The Wire: Human Rights Commission calls for rent freeze

1:00 pm on 16 August 2022

Interview by Casper McGuire

Listen to the full interview

The Human Rights Commission is calling for a nationwide rent freeze to alleviate cost of living pressures. 

In 2020, the government implemented a temporary six-month freeze on rent increases to ease the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic on renters. 

Vee Blackwood, the Human Rights Commission's Housing Inquiry Manager, says the government needs to address soaring rental prices as renting becomes a permanent housing reality for many New Zealanders.

"We'd like to see the government re-evaluate what a fair rent system looks like in order to meet the human rights of tenants." 

Blackwood says a systemic overhaul of the rental system is necessary and should include safeguards such as improved tenure security, long-term limits on rent increases (unless the property has undergone significant improvements), and more transparency about the rent paid by previous tenants.

Blackwood is pleased to see the Government offering tax exemptions to developers offering long-term tenancy opportunities. 

"We encourage the Government to continue to explore other proposals that will re-shape the rental system and support renters' human right to a decent home." 

Public interest journalism funded through NZ on Air.