Grants needed for family power bills

The Green Party is calling on the Government to make non-recoverable grants to families struggling with power bills this winter, to help prevent more children becoming sick from cold, damp homes.
Coroner Brandt Shortland ruled that a cold, damp Housing New Zealand home may have contributed to the death of Otara toddler Emma-Lita Bourne.
The family had been given a heater to warm it but could not afford the electricity to turn it on.
“No New Zealand child should be expected to go through the winter living in a cold, damp home, that their parents can’t afford to heat,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.
“We challenge the Government to immediately adopt the Green Party’s plan for a warrant of fitness for all rentals, to ensure no child has to live in the same conditions that Emma-Lita was forced to.
“In the meantime, the Government must instruct Work and Income to be compassionate and flexible when granting payments to families who come to it needing help to pay the power bill this winter.
“Families who can’t afford the power to heat their homes should be given grants to pay their power bill that they do not need to repay.”

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