Candidate Luke Jones answers Renters United’s questions

September 17, 2022 5:50 pm


Luke Jones

Riccarton Ward


Likely to make little difference for renters

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Renters United asked every candidate in the Riccarton Ward 17 questions about the issues that most concern renters in their ward. Here are Luke Jones’ responses in full.

Rapid fire questions

Are you a renter? No
Do you own any properties? No
Do you support the Renters United Healthy Homes Commitment? Yes
Do you commit to funding tenant advocacy? No
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

Stable homes

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

Advocate for and implement policy to strengthen and increase supply in the local housing market, thereby lowering prices and shifting more power to tenants of rentals.

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

Ensuring that all expectations and standards from the NZ Tenancy Tribunal are upheld in Council housing tenancy arrangements. If these are not upheld, I will personally advocate on a one-on-one basis to remedy any wrongdoing, and lobby for policy changes if required.

What steps will you take to end homelessness in Christchurch?

Actively partner with organisations, such as Housing First Christchurch, and simply ask: “What do you need to from council to make your work easier”. If we can facilitate the incredible work they do, and help them to extend it with partnership from central government, then we can take major steps towards ending homelessness in Christchurch.

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?

Yes. However, this would be on an advocacy basis as a local figure. I would absolutely, personally, provide support throughout Tribunal and/or legal processes to empower tenants and tackle bad landlords. It isn’t the role of local council to penalise bad landlords, as much as I would like to, and there is already central agencies to do so.

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

Currently, due to housing supply, landlords can raise the rent they charge while still being competitive in the market. A bad scenario for renters. If council can actively increase housing supply in Christchurch, this should increase competition in the local market and lower the price of rent. This will make rent-hikes less likely and intolerable. I believe this is firmly within the role of council. However, further actions will mostly fall within central government control.

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 for an overhaul of the way local government debt is arranged and structured with regards to housing development. Council owns land that can be built on, but does not always have the financial means to develop these. If they can be developed, this should increase supply in the market and create more options for renters.

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

The main reason is the inflated cost of property nationwide and here in Christchurch too. Rate rises can also contribute to increased rents. Rates is one of the few ways that council impacts week-to-week rent. By actually delivering on initiatives without delay and playing petty politics (think stadium that has ballooned in cost, that will mainly be covered by ratepayers and renters in Christchurch), we can get results for the rates we pay and not have to increase rates as often to make up for mismanagement.

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 the spirit of complete honesty, there are no pressing actions that I have in mind. However, I am extremely open to hearing about ways, such as your Healthy Home initiative, that council can improve housing quality in Christchurch.

Anything else you want to share?

No answer provided

Luke Jones

Riccarton Ward


Likely to make little difference for renters

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