Candidate Paul Lonsdale answers Renters United’s questions

September 17, 2022 3:13 pm


Paul Lonsdale

Halswell Ward


Likely to make little difference for renters

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Renters United asked every candidate in the Halswell Ward 17 questions about the issues that most concern renters in their ward. Here are Paul Lonsdale 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

Stable homes

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

I have children who rent and fully support the security of tenants tenure. This requires working with and lobbying government to bring in legislation to bring about change. I would advocate for a change to the current system.

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

Our social housing is now run by Otautahi Community Housing Trust which I helped establish back in 2015. They are doing a great job for our tenants and do provide security of tenure except in the cases of threatening behaviour. I believe everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home and support the removal of individuals to achieve that outcome. The trust also has taken on minor and major maintenance and in doing so saving millions of dollars each year through better management. This money has been going towards improving much of the poorly maintained houses and heat pump installations. If I was elected, I would love to go back onto the trust board as I enjoyed being part of an organisation that helped some of our most vulnerable people.

What steps will you take to end homelessness in Christchurch?

The sad truth is ending homelessness is difficult as there are some that choose not to be in a home and there will always be people who find themselves homeless for whatever reason. The best we can do is ensure we are effectively managing the issue and housing all those we can. That requires more social / government housing to be built and as city leaders, actively encouraging and supporting that action.

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?

There is work that could be done in the district plan and building code to help strengthen landlord obligations when providing homes. There is also work to be done with government to improve regulations and enforcement – I would be happy to work with your organisation to effect change in both these areas.

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

Council has no legal way of changing this imbalance aside from issues pertaining to the building code and regulations under our district plan. Council does have the ability to work with and lobby the Government to affect that change.

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 work with the landlord sector and government to hold meaningful outcome oriented discussions that provide a way forward in the reduction of rental costs. This would be a carrot and stick approach as incentives / charges generally provides better outcomes.

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

Rents go up due to a few reasons: 1. rental home supply shortage 2. operational increases: (a) rate rises (b) interest rate (c) government removal of the ability for landlords to claim the mortgage costs against income.

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?

If we improve legislation by means of improving the minimum standards and ensure the agencies tasked with monitoring and enforcing these, then that will not only address issues in my ward but the whole of the country.

Anything else you want to share?


Paul Lonsdale

Halswell Ward


Likely to make little difference for renters

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