Candidate Humphrey Hanley answers Renters United’s questions

October 1, 2019 8:27 am

Renters United asked every candidate in the Paekawakawa/Southern Ward 14 questions about the issues that most concern renters in Wellington. Here are Humphrey Hanley responses in full. Compare Humphrey with other candidates.

Housing quality:

How will you ensure all council owned and/or managed housing is safe, warm and dry? 

We must be conducting regular audits on the property Council owns, starting with the older stock first and making sure we as a council are sticking to the standards we’ve agreed to,or even improving on them!

What actions would you take to improve the quality of private rental housing in Wellington?

I think we need to look at applying those audits and standards to private rental housing as well – we need to ensure our homes are healthy homes.

Security of tenure: 

How will you ensure all council tenants have security of tenure?

I apologise but I do not have a good answer for this question, but it’s important so I will look into it immediately.

What actions would you take to improve stability and security for private renters?

As above, sorry!

Housing supply and affordability:

WCC estimates Wellington has a shortfall of 4,000 houses. Rents have increased in the city by 10% per annum for the last three years.

Would you set a target for Council to double its housing portfolio by 2024 (from approximately 2,000 units to 4,000)?

Ambitious, but if we’re not being ambitious we’re not trying, so yes!

How many new houses do you think the City Council should be building annually (above and beyond the private sector)?

1000 sounds great!

What are your other ideas for addressing the housing shortage and how would you make those a Council priority?

My biggest concern around the housing shortage is the even greater lack of accessible housing – it’s what we most urgently need. As such I would provision priority space in the consenting process for any accommodation proving for people with disability issues!

Would you advocate for additional powers or resources from Central Government to address the housing crisis (such as the ability to freeze rents), if so what and how? 

No response.

Meaningful enforcement of laws:

Renters United believes the council should be more proactive in supporting renters to enforce both the existing and new housing quality laws (i.e. the Healthy Homes Standards). This could include funding and undertaking inspections of private rental houses against the standards and/or funding advocacy services to support renters in enforcing their rights.

Would you support and fund Council proactively inspecting rental homes?

Yes certainly.

Do you think that Council should play a greater role in enforcing the standards?

Yes, if we set standards we need to be sure we have also set penalties and punitive measures in the event those standards aren’t upheld.

What other actions would you take to improve the quality of rental housing in Wellington?

Build more accessible homes!

Would you fund a dedicated tenants’ advocacy service?

If there is a need not being filled currently by other agencies, then yes, it’s an important issue!

What else do you think Council should do to address power imbalance between landlords and tenants?

I think this is a tricky one to solve, though the introduction of enforcement of our expected standards of housing, to the private housing sector / landlords sounds like a very positive move.

Do you have any other ideas or plans relevant to renters that you would like to share?

Did I mention we need to build more accessible homes?

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