Aleda Gagarin

Aleda Gagarin

https://www.aledaforcouncil.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AledaGagarin Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aleda.gagarin/

Do you believe housing is a human right? Yes

What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)

Most recently I served as an original member of the FEDUP coalition in Flushing, which was a group organizing against the Flushing waterfront rezoning and fighting against gentrification and displacement of working class families and immigrants. I also served as the campaign manager for a congressional race in Queens for a staunch Homes Guarantee candidate and fought to push left at the federal level on housing legislation.

3. What type of housing do you currently live in?              

Unregulated Rental Apt

4. Are you, or have you ever been, a landlord? No

4a. If yes, where & how many apts. did you own?

5. Does your campaign accept contributions from real estate developers (including related individuals), corporate lobbyists, organizations that participate in the carceral system, and/or landlords? No

6. Have you ever worked in, or had another affiliation with, the Real Estate industry?  No

7. Have any of your campaign or advisory staff held a position as a corporate lobbyist or an executive role with the Real Estate industry? No

6. & 7. If so, how can we be assured you will have tenants’ interests in mind?  (250 characters)

8. What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a City Council Member?  (1000 characters)

-Require a long term comprehensive city plan.

-Legalize ADU’s and cellar conversions

-Invest in Community Land Trusts.

-Ban the use of city owned land for private development, and require all building on city owned land be permanently affordable.

-Advocate for a land value tax at the state level.

-Change AMI – The determinants for Area Median Income need to reflect the neighborhood’s actual AMI to achieve affordability.

-Overhaul the ULURP process

-Automatically enroll elders and people with disabilities into SCRIE and DRIE

-Ensure that 197-a community plans have teeth, and that community boards have funding for community planners.

-Increase the relative weight of a community board’s vote during the ULURP process, so that the community where a rezoning would take place has the most say in the decision making process.

-Rapidly increase the number of supportive housing units with wraparound services available to homeless individuals

-Organize up for a Green New Deal for NYCHA

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  -Require a long term comprehensive city plan.

-Legalize ADU’s and cellar conversions

-Invest in Community Land Trusts.

-Ban the use of city owned land for private development, and require all building on city owned land be permanently affordable.

-Advocate for a land value tax at the state level.

-Change AMI – The determinants for Area Median Income need to reflect the neighborhood’s actual AMI to achieve affordability.

-Overhaul the ULURP process

-Automatically enroll elders and people with disabilities into SCRIE and DRIE

-Ensure that 197-a community plans have teeth, and that community boards have funding for community planners.

-Increase the relative weight of a community board’s vote during the ULURP process, so that the community where a rezoning would take place has the most say in the decision making process.

-Rapidly increase the number of supportive housing units with wraparound services available to homeless individuals

-Organize up for a Green New Deal for NYCHA

9a. What would you do as an elected representative to move that vision forward? (500 characters)

Yes

10. Do you support the move to legalize basement apts?  Yes

11. Do you support the concept of rent regulation and eviction protections? Yes

12. Do you believe in publicly owned and controlled housing? Yes

13. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?

I oppose RAD and any attempt to privatize NYCHA. We need better administration and accountability to ensure that NYCHA meets its obligations to tenants. Tenants must hold power in organizing solutions.

The Council must prioritize funding NYCHA. I support a Green New Deal for NYCHA, which requires federal buy-in, but would bring new revenue, better living conditions, new jobs, & a sustainable future. If elected, I will work alongside NYCHA tenants to lobby local Reps to support a GND for NYCHA.

14. Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)/ PACT program and other privatization schemes? No

15. Would you support an immediate moratorium on the sale or lease of all City-owned land and air rights to for-profit developers? Yes

16. Would you require that any housing built on public land be 100% permanently affordable to low- and extremely-low income New Yorkers? Yes

17. Would you aggressively use City programs and eminent domain to take ownership of distressed properties and transfer them to community control such as Community Land Trusts?      Yes

18. Would you end the custom of deferring to local council members on land use decisions? Yes

19. What standards would a rezoning need to meet for you to support it? (500 characters)

For any zoning to have my support it would need to meet five criteria:

Strong labor standards, real and permanent affordability, equitable development, sustainable development and have widespread community support.

20. What reforms to zoning would you propose to increase community input into development?  (500 characters)

-Require public notice for all Pre-ULURP meetings.

-The metrics used for Environmental Impact Studies should be subject to public review and changes

-Ensure community boards are fully funded and staff Community Planners

-Ensure the community board adequately reflects the community it serves.

-Increase the relative weight of a community board’s vote during the ULURP

-Establish a racial equity study so that community members can be informed about the risks of racialized displacement

21. Would you pass and enforce a true racial impact study as part of any rezoning?  Yes

Percentage of people who are below 200% of the poverty line 50% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  10%

23. What is/has been the most important land use fight in your district and what position did you take on it?  (500 characters)

1. Parkway Hospital, which has been closed for a decade while we waited for affordable housing for seniors. I’d prefer for the benchmarks of affordability to be lower. This plan isn’t perfect, but we need affordable housing for our elders, who deserve to age in place & dignity.

2. Kew Gardens jail, which our community is vehemently opposed to. I support No New Jails & a Renewable Rikers. We’ve been told we can’t afford to invest in NYCHA for decades, but we can afford billions for prisons? No.

24. Would you support increased funding and oversight of NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Mayor’s Tenant Protection Unit to educate tenants on their rights to organize in NYC rental buildings? YesYes

25. Will you support the City seeking injunctions against the landlords on the Right to Counsel’s “worst evictors list,” barring worst evictors from bringing eviction cases while under investigation, and implementing good cause evictions protections? Yes

26. Do you support expanding funding and oversight of the City’s emergency repair program to correct hazardous violations and send the owner the bill? Yes

27. How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  (500 characters)

-Support and expand the worst landlords accountability bill

-Pressure the state to pass Just Cause eviction bill

-Fund expanded legal services for tenants who want to sue landlords in housing court.

– Strengthen enforcement of OATH/ECB fines

28. Do you support the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA—Int 0737-2018) and Commercial Rent Stabilization bill (Int 1796-2019) currently in committee in the City Council?Yes

29. Do you support converting hotel rooms into permanently affordable apts? Yes

30. Would you end the practice of police responding to people who are homeless?  Yes

31. Would you oppose homeless shelters being built in your district? No

31a. Why or why not?  (500 characters)

Housing is a human right. I would not oppose a shelter in my district, but I am much more in favor of supportive housing units.  If my neighborhood was being considered for homeless infrastructure, I would advocate for supportive housing units.

32. Do you agree that all evictions are bad? Yes

32a. If no, why not?

33. Are you committed to making sure every tenant has free access to counsel in Housing Court? Yes

34. Would you support an eviction moratorium every winter (Heat Season Oct. 1-May 31)?  Yes

35. Do you believe that the Rent Guidelines Board should lower rents for rent stabilized tenants? Yes

35a. If yes, what will you do to influence the board to do so?  (500 characters)
Yes! In addition to testifying for lower rents with the RGB,  one of the best things we can do to influence the rent guidelines board is by changing who is on it.  All nine members are mayoral appointees, and only two are required to represent the interests of tenants.  Overhauling who is on it and how they are appointed so that tenants interests represent the majority of the board will have vast implications for what the board does.

36. Have you ever testified on behalf of tenants at a public hearing of the RGB? No

37. Do you support restricting the ability of landlords to discriminate and surveil tenants through the use of technologies such as key fobs, smartphone apps, and facial recognition to gain entry into their apartment units and/or buildings? Yes

38. Will you commit to only vote for a budget that decreases funding to the NYPD? Yes