Amanda Farias

Amanda Farias

https://www.amandafarias.nyc/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandafariasnyc Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandafarias.nyc/

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)

Through my work in the city council, I have fought and budgeted for free legal counsel for residents in the community and NYC. During the pandemic, I canvassed my community buildings and informed residents of the eviction moratorium, how to organize buildings for a rent strike, and have been actively working to support residents with eviction protection legal documentation to keep them from being evicted, and helped assist people in Spanish and Bangla.

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

Regulated 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)

Everyone deserves to live a life with dignity, and that means living in a safe and affordable place in a neighborhood that provides opportunities to get ahead. We see with the City’s affordability crisis that NYC is not always able to meet that need, and, accordingly, governments at all levels must work together to help. Protect Housing in Our Communities –  by expanding rent-stabilization for seniors, individuals on fixed incomes, LGBTQ+ youth, and families at 35% the poverty rate; Expand Affordability – We will address the homelessness crisis by reaching, and maintaining, an affordable housing threshold of 25% of units throughout New York City, with at least 15% deeply affordable; Fund & Defend NYCHA – We must guarantee the future of public housing by creating new, dedicated funding streams for NYCHA and banning all privatization efforts; Working with our Congressional Representatives to restructure the AMI to address affordable housing and displacement in New York City adequately.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  Everyone deserves to live a life with dignity, and that means living in a safe and affordable place in a neighborhood that provides opportunities to get ahead. We see with the City’s affordability crisis that NYC is not always able to meet that need, and, accordingly, governments at all levels must work together to help. Protect Housing in Our Communities –  by expanding rent-stabilization for seniors, individuals on fixed incomes, LGBTQ+ youth, and families at 35% the poverty rate; Expand Affordability – We will address the homelessness crisis by reaching, and maintaining, an affordable housing threshold of 25% of units throughout New York City, with at least 15% deeply affordable; Fund & Defend NYCHA – We must guarantee the future of public housing by creating new, dedicated funding streams for NYCHA and banning all privatization efforts; Working with our Congressional Representatives to restructure the AMI to address affordable housing and displacement in New York City adequately.

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?

Funding and Defending NYCHA and Retrofitting NYCHA are two of the ways we guarantee the future of public housing by creating new, dedicated funding streams for NYCHA and banning all privatization efforts. Going into 2022, the new City Council will need to not only fight against the fear of austerity by being bold, and innovative with progressive taxes, and revenue raisers, along with fighting to provide green, union jobs while advancing the health and quality of life of residents.

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)

We absolutely need to establish proper impact assessments that address the changes the rezoning may perpetuate. Assessing the impact that these decisions have on our school capacity, public transit, healthcare infrastructure & in our communities relating to congestion. Influxes in students, public transit, car usership & in the healthcare space will demand the proper resource allocations & a rezoning should not be approved until there are plans to address the infrastructure concerns in question.

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

I would like to see the ULURP process redefined, with more control given to the community. I would like to allocate more funding to community boards to provide detailed workshops and community information sessions so that neighborhoods have the access to educate themselves and take on a more vocal role in local zoning decisions and processes.

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  50%

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

There have not been many land use issues in the district. The most recent was a potential homeless shelter being built within the community. I was in support of the shelter being built. We need a more community driven process in informing and including residents in the process, our community board failed to include the community and local elected’s in that process.

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)

Through my constituent services team, I will work to build tenant power and provide training and resources so that tenants and tenant associations are supported and empowered. Together with my staff, I will work with HPD and DOB to leverage their institutional power to help our tenants properly counter poor landlords to ensure that landlords are pressured and accountable for their renters.

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)

I believe that it is our moral and social responsibility to ensure everyone has housing. I do believe that there are communities throughout this city that have taken on the lift of shelters in comparison to others, with less resources available like transit access, fresh food, equitable healthcare systems, etc so the responsibility of homelessness and shelters being built needs to be equally shared.

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)
This will require collaboration with our state elected officials in order to procure the proper agreement that benefits our community. We can work to develop more competitive tax incentives for landlords – but first we must work with our whole delegation to move this conversation forward.

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