Lambton ward candidate Troy Mihaka answers Renters United’s questions

September 13, 2016 11:42 pm

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

As a renter myself, I highly support the introduction of a Warrant of Fitness for Rental Properties. I believe every New Zealander is entitled to a warm, dry and safe environment. The creation of such a policy is an excellent way to control the development of new dwellings in our city.

I want to see housing standards raised across our city and Wellington becoming a leader in the rental property market.

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

Once the Warrant of Fitness for Rental Properties has been implemented, I would like to begin a review of the state of homes in Wellington. It is important to begin with correct frame work (the Warrant of Fitness) and once the initial problems have been addressed, larger issues and concerns will come to light.

3: How would you address homelessness in Wellington?

We need to build more homes. Wellington has a serious lack of quality, affordable community housing. I would like to work with local Iwi to establish a dialogue on homelessness and community housing, and see them take on a more proactive role in community housing.

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

Yes. Wellington has a very serious lack of community housing at present. This issue is reflected not only in the rise of homelessness, but also in the rise of property values. As a community, Wellington must work to protect its more vulnerable citizens by providing more affordable homes and living spaces.

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

I would like to see more intensification in Wellington’s inner city, as well as higher density housing in inner city suburbs.

More land around our city needs to be opened for development. I believe availability of land is one of the biggest issues with housing in Wellington.

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

I believe a major cause of rising rents in Wellington is increasing property values. As the value of property rises, the cost is converted into higher rent. The first, and most important, method of addressing this issue is to construct more homes.

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?

Discrimination on any grounds is never acceptable. As a member of the Wellington City Council I will always stand for the rights of renters.

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 would like to see Tenancy Service outreach centres introduced across New Zealand. I believe that an easy way to introduce, and fund, this would be to offer tenancy services through existing WINZ/Ministry of Social Development offices and University/Polytechnic Students Association offices.

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

I would need to review the guidelines applicable to the situation. As a member of the City Council I must ensure I am working only within the constraints of the legislation.

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

A large issue with rental property in Wellington is the lack of quality, affordable properties. An increase in the availability of rental properties in Wellington would allow for a less aggressive market, improving the stability of rental markets.

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

Many renters suffer from a higher cost of Public Transport. I would like to see a more streamlined efficient ticketing system introduced across Wellington, and a capped daily fare, as a way to lower the overall cost of Public Transport.

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