Renters United asked every candidate for the Southern ward 11 questions about the issues that most concern renters in Wellington. Here are Brendon Bonner’s responses in full. Compare Brendon with other candidates. Read responses from other candidates.
1: Wellington City Council has declared its intention to introduce a rental WOF. Do you support the introduction of a rental WOF? If so, how will you go about its introduction?
YES. Lobby, argue, fight.
2: Are there any other steps you would you do to improve the health, quality and safety of rental homes in Wellington?
Support Justin Lester’s WOF plan for rentals.
3: How would you address homelessness in Wellington?
More council housing. Look at what they did in Medecine Hat in Alberta, Canada – what they do in Sweden, even in the UK.
4: Do you support the building of additional council housing and if so how much housing should be built in the next council term?
YES. As much as possible.
5: Are there other measures you would take to increase the supply of quality rental housing in Wellington?
Not sure what you can do about this – the council can only do so much. It is central government that can pass laws to force landlords to provide decent rentals.
6: What do you think are the main reasons rents in Wellington are increasing? How would you ensure rents in Wellington are affordable?
Gouging, plain and simple. Landlords charging what the market can bear with no regard to what their actual costs are. I couldn’t ensure/guarantee rents in Wellington are affordable.
7: Many renters face discrimination on the basis of their gender, family status, age and ethnicity and when trying to find a home in Wellington. What steps would you take to address this?
These seem to be legal matters and I don’t know what the WCC could do to prevent such problems except maybe ‘name and shame’.
8: Do you support dedicated tenant advocacy services to balance the influence of landlords and rental agents? If so, how should these be funded?
YES. For more about my views on advocacy for renting you may like to look at my Facebook post from 18 June entitled ‘RENTING – SWEDEN DOES IT WAY BETTER’. I have spoken to the CTU about this, suggesting they they seed-fund a NZ Union of Tenants and lend it support and resources. So far they do not seem to understand how important it is and continue to focus mostly in industrial models of unionism rather than expanding into social models.
I would want the WCC to fund it. We should hear the voice of the half of the city that rents and if we have to pay to get that voice articulated better then I am all for it! The WCC supports the cycle lobby with massive resources, your numbers are much greater but no one seems to notice you or care.
9: Would you take steps to tackle persistent bad landlords who do not meet their obligations to renters?
Again this seems like a central government issue but there is no reason why WCC should not get into this with legal support via Renters United. We fund swimming and all sorts of groups -you are definitely worthy.
10: How would you ensure renting is more stable/secure?
I couldn’t ensure/guarantee rents in Wellington are affordable – but if I was able to with in the law and WCC bylaws, I would ‘encourage’ with every WCC resource available.
11: Do you have any other policies that you believe will have a particular impact on improving renting for renters in Wellington?
Talking to them would be a darn good start. Listening. Supporting them.
I do not want to see half the population of Wellington living in slum like conditions and this will surely be the situation if we stand by and have no engagement with the people most affected.
I am passionate about this issue – it is one of natural justice. Shelter/accommodation is a basic human need. Let’s do it right.
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