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May 1, 2017 | by  | in VUWSA | [ssba]

VUWSA

Winter has arrived! Although this does not mark any significant change in Wellington’s weather (seeing that we haven’t yet had a summer), cold draught is making its way through the cracks in the floorboards and the seasonal colonisation of mould on the bathroom walls has begun.

For many of us living in overpriced and freezing flats, as the evenings get colder, apart from layering up with oversized jumpers and sleeping in a pile of blankets, there is not much we can do. The lack of insulation coupled with the overpriced rent and high living costs means heating is not an option.

As a result, our health can suffer. For the past two years, I have spent several weeks in isolation having been diagnosed with whooping cough. The combination of a cold and mouldy flat with pre-existing asthma is not a recipe for a healthy winter. It meant taking time away from study, changing assessment dates, and having to play catch up for the rest of the semester.

This is the reality that students face.

In VUWSA’s Local Body Election campaign last year, we asked candidates seeking election to the Wellington City Council to sign a pledge calling for the introduction of a rental warrant of fitness by 2019. A majority of those elected to the council (eight of thirteen) signed this pledge.

The Wellington City Council is currently calling for submissions on the 2017/18 Draft Annual Plan. Submissions close on Friday May 19 (http://wellington.govt.nz/have-your-say/public-inputs/consultations/open/2017-18-annual-plan/how-to-have-your-say). This is a great opportunity to let councillors know about the rental conditions you face and the importance of introducing a rental warrant of fitness.

Living in a warm, dry, and healthy home should not be a luxury that students can’t access.

[ssba]

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