The Ready2Rent programme was started in the Hawke's Bay in 2016. It is a Hawke’s Bay District Health Board-led initiative to reduce the number of children with rheumatic fever and other breathing issues admitted to Hawke’s Bay’s hospitals. The programme is supported by the Hawke’s Bay Property Investors’ Association and is fully supported by the NZ Property Investors’ Federation (NZPIF). Other support comes from the Hawke’s Bay Housing Coalition made up of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga(TTOH), Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, Population Health Advisor team, Child Healthy Housing Team, Budget First, MBIE, Work and Income and Ministry of Social Development, Wharariki Trust and Kainga Ora (Housing New Zealand).
The education programme has three objectives. These are:
The course is completed over two half days and participants are required to sit a pre and post skills check (the same questions for both pre and post) of each module. There were five modules covering tenant’s rights and responsibilities with MBIE, maintaining a warm dry healthy home with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, managing money and debts with Budget First, housing products through Work and Income(WINZ) and Ministry of Social Development, Kainga Ora (Housing New Zealand) and landlord and tenant interviews and a presentation from HB Property Investors’ Association. Landlords also have the opportunity to outline who is responsible for things like mould in a house.
Candidates must show they have gained some knowledge from the pre and post skills check before a Certificate of Completion is awarded. For some who complete the course it is the first time they have ever received a certificate in their lives and we ensure that this event is celebrated.
Between 12-30 participants attend each of the monthly courses, with over 300 people completing to date. Participants can apply to complete the course through WINZ, TTOH, and other social housing providers. Places are limited and there is a large wait list for participants. It has been proven that the course helps tenants get into private rentals. A study of local landlords showed that 85% of them would use this scheme to find the best candidate for their rental property.
After the course, the participants are given everything to help keep their houses clean from mould, including a bucket, spray container, white vinegar, cleaning cloths. They also receive a Tenancy Application Form, Bond Form, weekly planner for rental payments, and the skills needed to find and apply for a rental property.
The Ready2Rent programme was awarded highly commended in the 2019 Awards of Health Hawke’s Bay - Te Oranga Hawke’s Bay, as a programme providing collaboration and integration across the Hawkes Bay health sector.
Similar courses are now being rolled out in the Manawatu, Wairarapa, and Auckland, to name a few areas around New Zealand. However, NZPIF believes it would be ideal if a Government Department like MBIE would run these courses throughout the country to ensure consistency. Continuing to involve landlords would also be a way of giving the courses credibility. This initiative is a very positive way to improve the experience of both prospective tenants and landlords.