The Green Party is joining more than 20 community organisations to call for an immediate rent freeze in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, after reports of landlords intending to hike rents after flooding.
“We froze rents when COVID-19 arrived, because the Government heard clearly people’s struggle and uncertainty to survive. Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s floods are no different,” says Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick
“It is mind-blowing to hear some landlords and speculators are consciously planning to raise rents in light of a climate crisis landing on our doorstep. They’ve said this is market forces at work - those “forces” are their decisions and their disproportionate power.
“On top of the tragedy of this flooding, inflation is disproportionately impacting lower income New Zealanders, because they spend a higher proportion of their income on essentials. CPI data makes it clear housing costs - namely, rent - are one of those key inflationary drivers.
“These past few days we’ve seen what really matters to the majority of New Zealanders: community and compassion. It’s well past time for rules, in our economy and in housing, that reflect those priorities.
“Poverty is a political choice. We implore the Government to use their power to freeze rents, as many of the grassroots organisations who have responded to the flooding this weekend are, because some landlords have clearly indicated they intend to abuse their power.”