Onslow-Western ward candidate Diane Calvert answers Renters United’s questions

September 19, 2016 8:32 pm

Renters United asked every candidate for the Onslow-Western ward 11 questions about the issues that most concern renters in Wellington. Here are Diane Calvert’s responses in full. Compare Diane 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 I support the principle of a rental WoF. In terms of its introduction, I would first like to better understand, from Council officials, the proposed mechanism for its introduction, monitoring and whether it can be made mandatory or be optional.

2: Are there any other steps you would you do to improve the health, quality and safety of rental homes in Wellington?

Looking at how WCC can support other initiatives such as the Curtain Bank and the work of the Sustainability Trust.

Ensuring WCC continues to work with major organsiations that require good rental accommodation for their workforce and or clientele (eg Universities) to plan for quality supply in the right areas.

3: How would you address homelessness in Wellington?

Ensuring that it remains on the agenda (including funding) for WCC to play its part along with central government and social agencies.

4: Do you support the building of additional council housing and if so how much housing should be built in the next council term?

WCC is already a leader amongst other Councils in the amount of social housing it provides. I support the retention of this current social housing stock. Any more requires careful funding consideration. If WCC can obtain the income related rent subsidy (currently only payable to HNZC tenants) it may well be viable both economically and socially to do increase its housing stock.

5: Are there other measures you would take to increase the supply of quality rental housing in Wellington?

Supporting education and awareness initiatives to promote what “quality” look like and where it is available.

6: What do you think are the main reasons rents in Wellington are increasing? How would you ensure rents in Wellington are affordable?

Rents are increasing along with house prices. There is no silver bullet to resolve the issues of either. The government should be heading a comprehensive and integrated package of initiatives to ensure housing supply matches demands (across all areas). NZ doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel and should look at other countries for ideas e.g. the UK has a number of public and private partnerships providing good affordable quality housing.

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?

WCC should continue to be a role model in how it manages its tenancies and interacts with other major rental housing providers. This issue is also not one sided. Renters should also be aware they have obligations and demonstrate they can meet those.

8: Do you support dedicated tenant advocacy services to balance the influence of landlords and rental agents? If so, how should these be funded?

This is managed through central government- https://tenancy.govt.nz/

9: Would you take steps to tackle persistent bad landlords who do not meet their obligations to renters?

This is managed through central government- https://tenancy.govt.nz/

10: How would you ensure renting is more stable/secure?

This is managed through central government- https://tenancy.govt.nz/. However WCC must ensure its future planning provides for the housing needs of its residents and economy e.g. given that WCC has a high student population and the tertiary sector is one that we are keen to promote and develop, we must ensure there is a good supply of quality and affordable student accommodation in the right locations.

11: Do you have any other policies that you believe will have a particular impact on improving renting for renters in Wellington?

Supporting and lobbying central government to ensure its policies provide for adequate housing supply.

Working with major organisations that require good ongoing rental accommodation for their workforce and or clientele (eg Universities) to plan for supply in the right areas.

Thinking more regionally for housing supply initiatives.

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