Eastern ward candidate Lynda McGregor answers Renters United’s questions

September 13, 2016 11:35 pm

Renters United asked every candidate for the Eastern ward 11 questions about the issues that most concern renters in Wellington. Here are Lynda McGregor’s responses in full. Compare Lynda 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?

The success of any initiative can be directly attributed to planning, design and implementation. Yes I support the introduction of a rental WOF. As a landlord ourselves, it seems sensible to implement the rental WOF into our own accommodation first. To ensure we get this right before implementation city wide.

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

There are two words that come to mind. Responsibility and Accountability. The tenant is responsible for ensuring that they maintain the condition of the dwelling they live in. E.g well ventilated, minimise dampness. The landlord is accountable for ensuring the dwelling meets the basic standards of the dwelling as defined in the WOF.

3: How would you address homelessness in Wellington?

Homelessness to such a complex issue, I believe that low wages, high rentals. Lack of support from government agencies which is leading to rent arrears which is driving eviction. This is a new wave of the working homeless. They need a living wage to survive. You cannot blame the landlord that also has financial responsibilities.

Labour mayoral candidate Justin Lester release an initiative to open a wet house to help assist the rough sleepers of Wellington that have alcohol addiction issues. This is a step forward to help the fringe of society . Compassion without judgement.

There isn’t a one size fits all approach. There isn’t a quick solution, we are committed to end homelessness.

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

I would like to see the current housing crisis eased, however, I can’t answer that question because I don’t have the capital works programme for the next three years. Its easy during an election to promise everything. But without supporting data I could be in danger of lying.

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

Property developers want to make a return on their investment. Any compliance costs associated with the rental WOF will be forwarded to the tenant. The most effective way to manage the quality of rental accommodation is by rental WOF. WCC will need to support landlords and developers as well. I would propose negotiating panel contracts for both goods and services. Keep the prices down so those savings can be passed on to the tenant.

This approach will encourage landlords to upgrade their properties in the most cost effective manner. Increasing the supply of quality rental housing.

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

Supply and demand. There are lots of different groups that become landlords. Whether it is on a commercial level or mum and dad renting an investment property. Rent prices will continue to rise if the demand continues to rise. A shortage of housing, a shortage of affordable housing and the rising property prices are all integrated into this issue.

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?

Renters face discrimination on a daily basis. Feedback from landlords is the only time they have control over their property is at the time of selection. There are many more good landlords than bad. I hate to say this but the likelihood of the culture of discrimination changing is unlikely. I am desperate to say something positive and upbeat. But in the boarder community we face racism and discrimination that is so difficult to prove that we choose to ignore.

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

I don’t understand this question. Are you asking about advocacy services when you have a conflict with your landlord or advocacy services to address the ongoing issues of discrimination, rental increases and quality dwellings?

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

Managing this issue would be incorporated into the rental WOF.

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

The rental market is driven by supply and demand. The housing crisis is real and that is directly impacting on the rental market. The government has passed legislation to fast track affordable housing builds. it hasn’t done that at all, it is providing fast track consents for property developers to do what they want.

This is a national issue that has come to pass because 9 years of this administration. The best way to stop this is to remove the government.

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

See above.

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