Candidate Laurie Foon answers Renters United’s questions

September 14, 2022 5:08 pm


Laurie Foon

Paekawakawa/Southern Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

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Renters United asked every candidate in the Paekawakawa/Southern Ward 17 questions about the issues that most concern renters in their ward. Here are Laurie Foon’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?

Make sure we are building more publicly owned homes. Publicly owned homes can set new ground rules, model and bench-mark what being a good landlord looks like.
Building more publicly owned homes must be backed up by including a warrant of fitness for rental properties, a landlord register/ licensing, and increasing housing supply. It is my understanding that this market influence will help improve stability and security for private renters.

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

Council tenants must have security of tenure in all agreements and policies. The purpose of council homes is to give homes to those that need them.

What steps will you take to end homelessness in Wellington?

I will boost WCC partnerships with organisations working to end homelessness and make sure we are building many more warm dry affordable public homes.

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?
We must use Council’s powers, especially those under the Health Act to monitor and fine landlords who are renting out substandard and unhealthy rentals

What do you think Council should do to address power imbalance between landlords and tenants? If nothing, why?
Council can fund a free legal tenancy support service, use it’s powers to advocate/ enforce a landlords licensing and warrant of fitness for homes system

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?

Yes I would advocate to limit rent increases to no more than inflation, prevent unreasonable rent hikes between tenancies and allow reasonable and proportionate rent increases above CPI where significant improvements have been made to the quality or facilities of the home. Ultimately more publicly owned housing would moderate the market.

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

I think rents are increasing because there has been a lack of quality affordable homes. I would ensure rents are affordable by supporting council to build many many more accessible and affordable social homes, in partnership with Kāinga Ora and mana whenua, particularly for key workers and along key public transport routes.
I would also support and strengthen an ambitious District Plan to maximise the provision of quality, affordable, accessible, sustainable, and liveable homes.

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?

Use Council’s powers under the Health Act to monitor and fine landlords who are renting out substandard and unhealthy rentals. I would also boost WCC support with the Sustainability Trust to help landlords ensure they upgrade their rentals to become warm, dry homes.

Anything else you want to share?

Wellington must show leadership and commit to being a great place for renters because it is also good for our economy, which means it is good for all of us. We must work with incentives and reprimands to ensure Wellington has great rentals available and it is part of our unique liveability factor. Council has a part to play by ensuring good quality affordable rentals come onto the market which will ensure there are good rental choices for essential workers, young whanau and our arts community. We as a city could adopt a kaitiaki kaupapa that ensures we have the means to support those who are vulnerable and are in need of public housing. We want to be an inclusive, creative and thriving city, so enabling many more homes is a big part of achieving that.

Laurie Foon

Paekawakawa/Southern Ward

Likely to make things better for renters

Compare Laurie with other candidates

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