A warrant of fitness scheme for rental housing has been announced to take place in Tauranga as part of a nationwide project.
The project is aimed at making rental housing safer to live in - especially for children, students and the elderly.
About 125 rental properties (25 in each city) will be given the once-over by home assessment experts in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
The field tests will not result in the immediate issue of WOFs for the 125 houses but will be an important step towards standardising methodologies and checklists to ensure the credibility of the WOF scheme.
Mayor Stuart Crosby said it is unfortunately well-known that much of New Zealand's older housing is cold and damp and of lower build standards than in many other OECD countries.
"Regardless of the reasons why the houses were built to these standards in the first places, it is well-known that poor housing conditions contribute to more severe asthma, rheumatic fever and other housing-related illnesses," he said.
"Tauranga City Council is therefore committed to participating in this rental housing WOF field test with the hopes of a tool being developed in the future that will improve housing standards for our community."
The assessment tool was developed by the NZ Green Building Council and the University of Otago (Wellington) with feedback and input from the five councils, ACC and other housing experts.