Every City leader must commit to treating housing as the human right that it is for all people, not another commodity. Real estate developers, landlords, and banks shouldn’t make a profit from poor living conditions and devastating rent hikes. I’ve been an advocate for our community in several land use disputes. I’ve provided testimony in opposition to the NY Blood Center proposal, and I actively opposed the Flushing Waterfront Rezoning plan because of its lack of affordable housing. I was also part of the successful fight to prevent gentrification and displacement as a result of major rezoning in Industry City. As your City Council member, I will lead a fundamental reckoning with New York City’s housing system and fight for the rights of tenants and New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.
Expand permanent supportive housing and support housed residents. I support permanent supportive housing, described by Coalition for the Homeless as a historically successful and affordable solution to the homelessness crisis. This type of housing provides affordable housing assistance in addition to support services that allow people who have experienced homelessness to receive substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and general medical care. These are the stepping stones to living a healthy and stable life, and they are services that everyone deserves. However, the most reliable way to prevent homelessness is to eliminate the affordability gap that is endemic in New York City and ensure that our residents have the financial and legal resources to remain in their homes.
Build more shelter infrastructure. The 89,000 people experiencing homelessness in our City must be provided with care and shelter immediately. I will push for the construction of more homeless shelters in District 5. Homeless shelters are the first step toward providing permanent housing for a growing population in desperate need. In order to transition off the streets and out of homeless shelters, New Yorkers need a place that they can be sure is reliable, safe, and affordable.
Guarantee tenant rights. I support legislation that will give every tenant the right to a renewal lease, limited rent increases, oversight by a publicly accountable committee instead of a landlord, and the right to organize a tenant union. Rent stabilization must cover all apartments. I will also fight to ensure that Airbnb and other companies stop occupying valuable housing space for profit. For more information about housing legislation that I support, click here.
Hold landlords accountable. I will fight to end landlord harassment and income discrimination. I support penalties for landlords who engage in harassment tactics and improve communication platforms with tenants to ensure proper accountability. One of these platforms would be my own office - will keep an open door to all residents having conflicts with their landlords. Tenants defend themselves in housing court significantly better when they have access to legal counsel, and for this reason I will advocate for INTRO 2050, which mandates the immediate expansion of the Right to Counsel law.
Reform NYCHA. Affordable housing should be the foundation of city living. I will make it a priority to acquire the $32 billion needed to complete New York City Housing Authority repairs. We cannot allow developers to privatize NYCHA under the guise of assistance and sacrifice our public lands for profit. I will oppose all privatization of public resources and build strong working relationships with NYCHA community leaders to ensure that decisions surrounding housing are fully informed by residents. Establishing democratic control over NYCHA will allow community members and labor union members who work at NYCHA to reorient the administration’s priorities and set a new path forward.
Create a stronger affordable housing infrastructure. He will also push for the expansion of affordable housing in District 5 and call for the establishment of Universal Rent Control by the State Senate. In the long term, we must expand the budgets of the New York City Housing Authority, Department of Housing Reservation and Development, and the Department of Buildings. I will also support increased funding for these departments in budget negotiations and advocate for the creation of public parks, schools, and housing on public land.