Candidate Chris Darby answers Renters United’s questions

September 17, 2022 11:37 pm


Chris Darbys

North Shore Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

Compare Chris with other candidates

Renters United asked every candidate the North Shore Ward 17 questions about the issues that most concern renters in their ward. Here are Chris Darby’s responses in full.

Rapid fire questions

Are you a renter? No
Do you own any properties? Yes
Do you support the Renters United Healthy Homes Commitment? Yes
Do you commit to funding tenant advocacy? Yes
Do you support councils retaining ownership an expanding supply of council housing? Yes
Will you lobby for IRRS to be extended to councils? Yes
Do you commit to densifying inner city suburbs? Yes
Will you commit to using your platform to abolish the ratepayers roll? No answer provided

Stable homes

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

Through direct advocacy to government for ensuring security of tenure is strengthened though a further review of the Residential Tenancies Act.

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

Through robust tenancy agreements that are focussed on tenant wellbeing.

What steps will you take to end homelessness in Auckland?

Continue to acknowledge homelessness as a society issue that requires our shared attention. Continue to work with the various government and no-government agencies to ensure wholistic solutions are found to address homelessness, including confirming improved council budgets to allow council to play a lead part.

Meaningful enforcement

If elected, would you take steps to tackle persistent bad landlords who do not meet their obligations to renters in your area? If so, what?

If Auckland Council has the power to do that of course it should act. if it does not have the direct power to act then strong advocacy to other agencies should be taken.

What do you think Council should do to address power imbalance between landlords and tenants? If nothing, why?

There are many aspects of the Residential Tenancies Act which did not get addressed in the most recent review. Joint advocacy is required to seek further examination and improvements.

Fair rent

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

Addressing rent control measures has been put off by successive governments. I support advocacy to government seeking rent increase ceilings and inter-tenancy rent hikes.

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

Residential property is viewed as a profitable trading commodity. Until a bold government introduces a measure like a capital gains tax, the commodity trading of houses and in effect the people that occupy them will continue unabated. Keeping the pressure on in favour of a capital gains tax appears the most powerful instrument for providing rent relief.

Safe and healthy homes

What actions (in contrast to or in conjunction with our Healthy Homes Commitment) would you take to improve the quality of private rental housing in your ward and in your city?

Government’s recently announced edicts on housing supply paid no attention to quality and design. Design standards are basic at best. We are now building homes that meet insulation standards but lack in ventilation, creating 30-35 degree summer living environments. There’s need for MfE to lead the introduction of National Design Standards for housing. Council’s have a responsibility in calling for that, which is what I have been doing at Auckland Council.

Anything else you want to share?

Build to rent (BTR) and rent to buy (RTB) schemes are surfacing as some sort of panacea for renters. I’m encouraged by such schemes but also mindful of unexplored pitfalls. BTR and RTB could work well if public funding and investment agencies like NZ Super and ACC participate. They require careful attention including council’s attention.

Chris Darbys

North Shore Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

Compare Chris with other candidates

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