Candidate Lachlan Patterson answers Renters United’s questions

September 18, 2022 10:41 am


Lachlan Patterson

Wharangi/Onslow-Western Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

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Renters United asked every candidate in the Wharangi/Onslow-Western Ward 17 questions about the issues that most concern renters in their ward. Here are Lachlan Patterson’s responses in full.

Rapid fire questions

Are you a renter? Yes
Do you own any properties? No
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?

Our goal must be to deliver an oversupply of housing, both through smart zoning policies and building thousands more social housing units.
I also support expanding the Council’s Te Kāinga office conversion program, which includes rent stabilisation for tenants.
Failing to build enough housing to meet demand in the areas where people want to live is the fundamental driver of displacement and gentrification.
Planning rules and public housing are the key levers available to Council to make landlords compete for tenants, instead of the other way around. WCC can also support labour retention and stability in the construction sector, and take advantage of lower land prices, through counter-cyclical investment in social housing.
I will use my platform to advocate for stronger tenants rights, including rent controls.

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

I am committed to retaining and expanding our social housing, in partnership with mana whenua and Kāinga Ora where appropriate. My aspiration is delivering universal public housing in Wellington, where we have enough social housing in Wellington that tenants can remain in social housing, in their community, even if they begin to earn too much income.
I am committed to all tenants paying an income-related rent of 25% of their income, whether funded by the Government or Wellington City Council, so that tenants can’t be priced out by rising market rates.
I am committed to strengthening tenants’ voices, regardless of the management or ownership structure of our social housing, including resourcing a Tenant’s Union to represent tenants.

What steps will you take to end homelessness in Wellington?

I will help end homelessness in Wellington by building abundant affordable and social housing for people to move into.
I will work alongside social organisations to open a women’s emergency night shelter, which Wellington lacks.
I want Wellington City Council to work with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to build more transitional housing in Wellington, as a more suitable alternative to emergency accommodation.

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?

I support funding stronger mediation and tenancy advocacy services.
I support applying fines on landlords whose rental properties are unhealthy and unsuitable for occupation.
I support Wellington City Council further exploring what powers or mechanisms we can use to hold persistently bad landlords accountable.

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

I support building abundant social and affordable housing to reduce the power imbalance between landlords and tenants created by a housing shortage.
I support funding tenant advocates, not just mediators, to reduce the power imbalance when resolving tenancy disputes.
I support Wellington City Council working with the Government to establish a register of landlords and property management, alongside professional licensing.

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 will advocate, alongside my parliamentary colleagues, for the Government to introduce rent controls, limiting annual increases to the lower of median wage growth or inflation, and tying rents to that paid by previous tenants.
I will advocate for Government to extend Income-Related Rent Subsidies to Council Housing, for all existing tenants, so we can better fund affordable social housing in Wellington.
I will advocate for Government to provide better funding and resourcing for Wellington City Council to service more housing development, and build more social housing.

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

Rents are rising in Wellington because we have a significant shortage of housing that allows landlords to raise rents, and property investment is encouraged by Government policy due to untaxed capital gains.
I will ensure rents in Wellington are affordable by building abundant affordable and social housing to end the housing shortage.
Building thousands more social housing units will begin to decommodify housing in Wellington, reducing the opportunities for private landlords to extract rents and rental profits from tenants exercising their human right to housing.

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?

I support planning provisions that encourage energy efficiency, accessibility, and sustainable design such as the City Outcomes Contribution.
I support funding tenant advocates, not just mediators, to help tenants advocate for maintenance.
I support maintaining resourcing for organisations like the Sustainability Trust who can help tenants with energy advice, subsidised insulation, and curtains.

Anything else you want to share?

I will ensure our rating system encourages efficient land use and discourages land banking.
Let’s Get Wellington Moving presents a significant opportunity for development of abundant social housing along the light rail route, which we can’t afford to pass up.

Lachlan Patterson

Wharangi/Onslow-Western Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

Compare Lachlan with other candidates

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