The Budget 2018 confirmed that insulation subsidies for landlords will run out June 30, 2018. Sustainability Trust Chief Executive Philip Squire talks about what this means and the new Warmer Kiwi Homes subsidies, in the run up to the 2019 insulation deadlines.
I've recently returned from a sabbatical in Europe, supported by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. One of my key areas of study was to investigate how the Europeans ensured that rental properties stayed warm and dry in those cold winters. The reasons are many and varied but the vast majority are well insulated and heated, and importantly must meet a benchmark standard to allow continuation of the right to rent.
In New Zealand, rental regulation is coming, but over the past many years the government has been using a carrot approach - encouraging landlords to insulate their rentals through the use of subsidies. However this is about to end and the current 50% subsides to help pay for insulation in the homes of tenants on low-middle incomes will end June 30, 2018.
This means that from July 01, 2018 onwards, there is no more funding to help pay for insulation in rental properties.
We urge all landlords to contact us now to book a subsidised insulation install. Properties must be assessed and jobs confirmed by June 30, 2018 to get the subsidy, with no exceptions.
Not sure if the property is eligible? Landlords and property managers should check in with tenants on their current financial situation to see if they may be eligible and if so, act quickly to book in an assessment. We know that a tenant’s situation can change quickly, and with the 50% subsidies worth around $1,000-$2,500 per property it’s worth getting whilst landlords can.
Here’s a recap of the criteria:
If yes then the property is probably eligible for a 50% subsidy until June 30, 2018.
Despite the end of this subsidy, landlords will still be able to reduce upfront costs by using a repayment plan such as the GWRC rates loan scheme, our 0% interest repayment scheme, or a bank loan e.g. the new ANZ interest free loans.
We know that demand for installs and repayment plans will skyrocket as we get closer to the insulation deadlines on the horizon. Landlords that delay checking or upgrading insulation risk lack of availability from professional insulation companies, or inconvenient and slow lead times. Not to mention $4000 fines and legal implications if they miss the hard RTA deadline by July 2019.
We encourage all landlords and property managers to install essential insulation as soon as possible. It’s the only way to protect your investment from these risks, and your tenants from unhealthy housing.
The Budget also included an announcement of the new Warmer Kiwi Homes government programme which will support low-income homeowners to insulate their homes.
This new programme will be launched on July 01, 2018 and will offer grants covering at least two-thirds of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation, as well as ground vapour barriers.
At Sustainability Trust we are delighted about this ongoing commitment to support people in need to create healthy homes. Grants of $2000 will also be provided to eligible households from July 01, 2019 to ensure homes can be heated affordably as well as insulated.
We will be working through eligibility details and subsidy offers over the next couple of weeks. But if you have any questions or think you may be eligible for the new programme please get in touch so we can get your home assessed when the programme starts at the beginning of July.
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