According to reported, support workers have called for hostels to be put on a register, as they are scared of visiting clients, due to dirty hostels which may have health risks.
Also, Wellington Health officials are said to be engaging in a parliamentary select committee inquiry, as they are calling on the government to do more to ensure safety, especially that of the elderly, who resort to hostels as their last option.
Housing Minister Phil Heatley said: “With the Residential Tenancy Act changes last year, we made sure that tenants had rights, just as landlords or boarding house operators have rights, but those act changes didn't extend as far as the Health Act".
Hence, some groups feel they do not have the right to complain about the condition of the boarding houses, out of fear of being evicted, as the conditions were often poor, with broken windows, no hot water, rotting floorboards as well as carpets, and holes in the bathroom floors.
Moreover, Kate Amore, from Otago University's housing and health research programme, said: "If you are renting an apartment and owe rent, you have to be given 21 days' notice, but if you live in a boarding house you only have to be given 48 hours".