Lambton ward candidate Mazz Scannell answers Renters United’s questions

September 19, 2016 8:40 pm

Renters United asked every candidate for the Lambton ward 11 questions about the issues that most concern renters in Wellington. Here are Mazz Scannell’s responses in full. Compare Mazz 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 rental WOF, as a sign of my support I have signed the pledge with Victoria University Students Association.

The first step would be to publish the WOF guidelines so landlords can plan improvements along with any scheduled maintenance. It would also serve as a conversation point between landlords and tenants on the specific property in question.

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

Make sure the tenants know what their rights are and landlords know their obligations.

Make sure the social housing provided by the Council complied with the guidelines.

3: How would you address homelessness in Wellington?

Active liaison between the council and the support agencies.
Champion additional health and addiction support for those in need.

The introduction of a wet house to provide a safe supportive environment for those in most venerable.

Supply smaller dwellings with communal facilities for the homeless and those most in need.

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

Wellington City is the second largest landlord in New Zealand. The Wellington inner city population is projected to grow by 152% in the next 34 years. That’s equates to over 2000 extra people, therefore the city needs to develop new social housing options and as well as continuing to upgrade the existing housing stock.

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

Through city planning requirements, making sure that apartment and large housing developments have a mix of large and small properties.

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 due to low housing stock plus high demand in specific areas and the cost of public transport, e.g students make a trade of between the cost of transport (high) and convenience to the educational institution.

If the cost of pubic transport was lower this should influence the cost of rentals in specific parts of the inner city eg if students were able to access discounted travel they would be able to afford to live further from the institution. Dunedin has a successful travel discount scheme for students and has transfer within a zone at no additional cost.

The council should also make the consenting and development stages as timely as possible to have new housing stock available as soon as possible.

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?

In regards to the social housing provided by the Council I hope this is not happening at all. Considering private landlords these issues should be addressed as part of the tenancy tribunal – to hear disputes and rule on issues regarding discrimination.

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 I do, best way to fund is from the interest income the Tenancy Tribunal earns from bond lodgements.

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

Name and shame on the Tenancy Tribunal website.

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

Longer term rental agreements and minimum contract requirements included in the tenancy agreement.

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

Closer council liaison between the council and service providers.
The population of Wellington is growing and public discussion is required on the best way to cater for the increase in a planned and logical manner.

Development of a long-term housing plan that is publically debated and available on population growth, housing projections and council policy would be a start.

Decisions have to be made on the type and location of additional housing options.

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