New paper: Promoting health through housing improvements, education and advocacy: Lessons from staff involved in Wellington’s Healthy Housing Initiative

We know that poor housing conditions result in ill health for many New Zealanders, and we know which interventions are required to ensure good quality housing that supports health. Healthy Housing Initiatives intervene to improve the homes of kids who are hospitalised for illnesses that could be related to poor housing conditions. Some colleagues and…More

Should landlords pay a bond to cover maintenance?

There’s a major problem with maintenance in New Zealand rental housing. Independent assessors of a representative sample of New Zealand housing found that 32% of rental housing was poorly maintained (Buckett et al. 2017:26). Research recently published by Auckland Council, and based on interviews with Auckland property managers, showed that a major challenge in working…More

Renter activism in New Zealand, 1916-2016

Republished with permission from the Labour History Project Bulletin. Life isn’t good for many people who rent their home: renters move often; problems of cold and damp housing are widespread; low income households are often crowded; and many people spend more than half their income on rent.[1] Poor quality housing, crowding, and a lack of…More

Tenant advocates help renters access better housing

Last month, an article based on part of my PhD research was published in Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online.[1] For this project, I interviewed tenant advocates: volunteers and professionals who, among other things, advise tenants on their rights, help them negotiate with their landlords, and help them represent their interests at the Tenancy Tribunal.…More

Will the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill improve our rental housing?

The Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill no.2 amends the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). Introduced by the Labour Party back in 2015, it is currently being considered by the Government Administration Select Committee. Over the next couple of months, this Bill is likely to be in the news again as the select committee hears oral submissions. This Bill is…More

“Housing is central to understanding what’s happening in capitalism today” – An interview with Brett Christophers

Brett Christophers is professor at the Department of Social and Economic Geography and the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University, Sweden. His most recent book, The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law (Harvard University Press, 2016), provides a theoretical and historical examination of the relationship between competition and monopoly in…More