We need safe homes! Put cooling in Victoria's rental minimum standards

Hon. Harriet Shing, Minister for Housing

Renters in Victoria are baking in hot homes each summer, and it's getting worse.

Heatwaves kill more Australians than all other environmental disasters combined. Renters are more likely to live in homes with no insulation or air con, so are disproportionately feeling the impact of rising temperatures.

Right now, all rental homes have to have heating, but they don't need to be cool or safe during heatwaves.

Everyone deserves a safe, healthy home to live in. There are many simple, cheap and effective solutions that keep homes cool, such as insulation, fans, and air-conditioning. However, developers and landlords are not required to implement them as there are currently no legally enforceable safe temperature regulations or minimum energy efficiency standards for rentals. Renters are left to advocate for themselves and landlords routinely deny requests.

More and more people are renting, yet many rental properties are simply not safe to live during extreme heat. Nearly half of renters we surveyed reported they left their home to find a cooler location during heatwaves, compared to just 14.5% of homeowners.

Together we can win safe, healthy, cool homes for all renters by including cooling and heatwave safety in the minimum standards.

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To: Hon. Harriet Shing, Minister for Housing
From: [Your Name]

Everyone deserves to live in a safe, healthy home. However, many renters currently live in homes that put them at risk during extreme heat.

Heat waves kill more Australians every year than all other natural disasters combined. Yet many renters have reported that their homes are dangerously hot during heatwaves, forcing them out of their home to seek refuge elsewhere.

It is therefore imperative that the Victorian government directs its attention to reducing our risk of heat-related diseases. We are calling on the government to create and enforce minimum thermal safety standards for rental properties as a simple, effective way to ensure all renters have a safe, healthy home.