Candidate Rebecca Matthews answers Renters United’s questions

September 30, 2019 10:58 pm

Renters United asked every candidate in the Wharangi/Onslow-Western Ward 14 questions about the issues that most concern renters in Wellington. Here are Rebecca Matthews’ responses in full. Compare Rebecca with other candidates.

Housing quality:

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

There is an upgrade process is underway but I will push to speed it up. Visiting council houses in my ward and talking to tenants has lit a fire in me to push on behalf of council tenants in my ward!

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

Start to use our influence and resources to do that – including a tenant support service.We also need to lead by example.

Security of tenure: 

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

I am interested in extending security of tenure – I understand a policy review is underway so let’s take a look!

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

More apartment conversions with long-term leases available. Seeing if we can encourage other landlords to do the same! I know how important this is as a renting parent.

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)?

Building houses takes time (as govt has found out) – I don’t know if this number is feasible. But I support doing what is feasible and being ambitious!

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

At least 150 per year and more if we can.

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

More apartment conversions, making consents easier and cheaper, providing incentives for building affordable houses and using the Long Term Plan to deliver intensification.

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? 

Yes

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

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

Yes

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

No response.

Would you fund a dedicated tenants’ advocacy service?

Yes

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

Interested in working more closely with groups like yourselves to figure out best way to do this.

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

No response.

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