- An immediate amnesty from paying rent or mortgages, and a ban on all evictions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic (to be extended for a a period afterwards to help people recover financially and emotionally).
- Long term rent caps to enable people to recover financially and emotionally from COVID-19
- The government to buy unoccupied houses (ghost homes) and buildings on the private market for public housing for homeless peoples
- Remove all obligations to pay for the cost of temporary emergency housing, and reinstate this as a non-recoverable grant.
- No tenants will be left with debts or fines, retaliatory rent increases or retaliation from utility companies
- No bad references or rental histories for tenants who don’t or are unable to pay rent
What is our kaupapa?
We are a group of renters from across Aotearoa that are struggling for universal access to housing. We are struggling for this as shelter is necessary to ensure that every person and the communities can survive and flourish. To bring this about, we support renters in organising rent strikes to resist exploitation by their landlords, to improve renters rights and to pressure the government to repeal anti-renter policies and implement pro-renter policies. We are intersectional, environmentalist, anti-racist, feminist, pro-decolonisation, anti-capitalist, pro-queer liberation, pro-disability liberation and anti-ageism.
What is a rent strike pledge?
It’s asking people to commit to a consequential action through joining a rent strike but freeing them from having to be the one to stick their neck out alone to demonstrate the power of collective action – and create a real-time reflection of the power we can build together. We’re not appealing to the powerful; we’re asking renters to join together and become powerful.
Why are you calling for a rent strike?
As ActionStation explains in their Emergency Housing Plan:
“No matter who we are, or where we come from – all of us need a safe place to call home.Yet for decades politicians have allowed the housing market to be driven by the demands of property speculators which has led to a housing crisis. And that was before the coronavirus hit.
Because of the covid-19 situation and the inevitable economic downturn, many New Zealanders will lose their jobs, have their hours reduced, or be forced to self-isolate with little or no income. This will have a particular impact on those who are homeless, live in insecure or overcrowded housing, or have high rent and mortgage payments. The government must intervene now to ensure everyone has a home through this challenging time.
The latest government announcement of a rent freeze and no-cause evictions give some relief but these measures do not go far enough. Government ministers are meeting in the next couple of days to make further decisions and we have the chance now to push for the best possible outcome for people renting, in insecure housing or who are homeless.
The choices our Government makes now to help us weather the outbreak of this virus has the power to shape our communities and social systems for the better for decades to come. We can choose to look after everyone.”
Despite the submission of ActionStation’s Emergency Housing Plan and an Avaaz petition calling for a rent and mortgage payment freeze, the Government has so far refused to implement either petitions. If the Government won’t accept petitions, emails and phone calls, then all that we have left is our capacity to withdraw the payment of rent to our landlords to force the Government to implement pro-renter policies.
Are there examples of rent strikes working?
Yes! Our history is filled with examples of rent strikes by renters that have improved their rights and their conditions. Meanwhile, renters have held rent strikes in the Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, winning rent reductions, better living conditions and much more as a result. Direct action gets the goods!