Candidate Julie Fairey answers Renters United’s questions

September 18, 2022 12:06 am


Julie Fairey

Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

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Renters United asked every candidate the Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa Ward 17 questions about the issues that most concern renters in their ward. Here are Julie Fairey’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? Yes

Stable homes

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

Advocacy to central government will be needed, however there could be local work to highlight the benefits to everyone from secure tenure for private renters, hopefully to educate the wider public to support law and regulation changes.

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

Review how the partnership with Haumaru is working, and how new council provided social housing can be added to that portfolio or independently.

What steps will you take to end homelessness in Auckland?

I support Housing First, which we know internationally and now locally is hugely effective at helping people who find themselves homeless. I also feel strongly that Council has a role in promoting Pride and working with the rainbow community, as there is a strong link between queer youth pushed out of their homes and homelessness. Similarly with mental illness and addictions; Council has a role to support the experts working in this space where we know there is a correlation with homelessness.

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?

Increase resources to Council’s regulatory and enforcement departments to assist in this area.

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

Work with tenant advocacy groups and local boards to find local solutions as well as advocating for central government law changes.

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?

I have been part of the Roskill Community Voice team pushing Kāinga Ora to increase the provision of social housing in their redevelopment of the Roskill area. The building of a wider range of housing by KO will help improve the diversity and quality of our rental housing stock, and encourage developers to look at other models than building the biggest free-standing house they can on a section.

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

Rents are rising partly because of the imbalance of power between renters and landlords, but mainly because of the shortage of housing, particularly close to jobs and education. Lower rents further out become higher transport costs to access your needs. Addressing the shortage of housing, including upzoning close to employment and study opportunities, will help, but we also need to lift household incomes and reduce transport costs.

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?

In my time on the board, Puketāpapa Local Board has invested in a scheme specifically aimed at renters to access subsidies and programmes that can improve the standard of housing, with the landlord’s support. This can only go so far without law and regulation changes, and enforcement to give those rules teeth.

Anything else you want to share?

I haven’t rented for twenty years and what I can see of renting now is that it is very different from what it was then. It seems as if what we accepted as student flats that were a rite of passage has now become far too common for everyone (and in hindsight probably wasn’t ok for students either). Housing is a human right, and as a community we need to work together to ensure everyone is housed safely and in a way that meets their needs.

Julie Fairey

Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

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