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Council would back rent-to-own housing under Wade-Brown

Oct 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

CWB_topCOUNCIL would help homebuyers with a rent-to-own policy if Wellington elected Celia Wade-Brown mayor.

Purpose built housing that could be on-sold though rent from the tenants, which would pay off the cost of the building, is one of Ms Wade-Brown’s election promises.

Private landlords would also be held accountable for a certain standard, she said in an interview with Newswire.

She wants to improve Wellington rental properties with a “warrant of fitness” to lift the quality of private rentals.

Another key issue for Ms Wade-Brown is attracting more skilled people to the city by promoting it as a great place to live.

“We have to promote Wellington not just as a tourism destination, but where to get a great job in software engineering or disaster resilience,” she said.

Decreasing traffic issues in the city by expanding the Cityhop scheme and other projects aimed at car sharing in the city was also on Ms Wade-Brown’s agenda.

An issue affecting everyone in the greater Wellington region is whether Wellington and its surrounding localities become a supercity similar to Auckland.

Ultimately, Wade-Brown thinks the decision “should be up to the people of Wellington” but would personally prefer a change to the current system.

“I do think the council needs to overlap,” said Wade-Brown, noting a one-tier local council is her preferred choice, but would not take it as far out as others have suggested.

“I think Wairarapa is a stretch too far.”

Some of her long-term goals for the city include expanding from the 16 schools that already use solar panels and bring them to every school, an end to homelessness in the city and creating the runway extension to the airport.

One question Wade-Brown is always asked to comment on is Prime Minister John Key’s controversial statement that Wellington is dying, which she strongly refutes.

She says Wellington is a rapidly growing city, particularly in the digital sector, which is not as outwardly visible as something like factories, mines or dairy farms.

Since she first moved to the city in 1983, she had seen a vast change in Wellington in that it is now a more vibrant, diverse city.

Looking back at her current term as mayor, Wade-Brown said the council’s smooth organisation of the city though this year’s earthquakes as one of her proudest moments.

Discussing the efforts of surveyors in the days immediately after the July earthquake, she said “we weren’t just the best community in surveys, we were also the best in practice”.

As for where the council could improve, Wade-Brown thinks engaging with the community more and having the right scale of consultation on issues could be worked on.

“People have really high expectations of how public servants should serve the community. We have to satisfy the community that our services have value and that we listen,” she said.

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