Amoy Barnes

Amoy Barnes

amoybarnes.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amoyforcouncil?lang=en Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amoyforcouncil/?hl=en

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)

I have consistently shown up to fight RAD in my community; I’ve also marched and organized with Staten Island Women Who March, NAACP and other community organization in support of access to counsel and rent regulation in NYC. As a Director of Constituent Services (and in my personal time) I’ve worked closely with service providers and made connections to City Agencies to assist people in my community facing a housing crisis.

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)

There is a serious crisis of affordability in NYC and a housing stock demographic mismatch. I would like to draft legislation that gives provides for permanently affordable housing through Community Land Trusts, Non-Profit Developers and higher affordability requirements throughout the City. I also believe we need to think about units designed specifically to increase environmental efficiency and designed specifically for 1 and 2 person households.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  There is a serious crisis of affordability in NYC and a housing stock demographic mismatch. I would like to draft legislation that gives provides for permanently affordable housing through Community Land Trusts, Non-Profit Developers and higher affordability requirements throughout the City. I also believe we need to think about units designed specifically to increase environmental efficiency and designed specifically for 1 and 2 person households.

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

Maybe

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 believe that we need to come up with mechanisms of income generation specifically and indefinitely pegged to NYCHA. I believe in divesting from policing and incarceration as one mechanism while simultaneously passing a slate of progressive taxes and a millionaires tax that would enable us to fund NYCHA projects. I also believe that the City can think creatively about community serving projects that might also be able to generate income using under/utilized City land holdings.

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? Depends

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)

Rezoning standards would need to address consider displacement, dispossession of Black/brown communities, potential cultural harms and the impact on infrastructure and services in the surrounding area.

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

Residential Zoning of Hotels – We must reconsider density requirements that make rezoning hotels units as studios or efficiencies ( or modern SRO’s). Those who are temporarily housed in these buildings should be including on CABs created to decide the fate of these buildings as redesign is considered.

Ground Floor Retail Restrictions/Commercial Use Distinctions – These restrictions are encouraging vacancy in many communities, those communities should be surveyed and meetings should be held.

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 25% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  15%

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

The Bay Street Re-zoning: a rezoning update was long overdue; the 1800 additional units were sorely needed. I continue to be disappointed by the STILL undelivered promise to rebuild a community center demolished after Hurricane Sandy. I have continued to show up to community meetings to pressure the City to keep its promise. This is only one of several promised community center/parks projects; I like others am unsatisfied with the lack of open spaces provided for in the rezoning.

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)

The City of New York has a number of mechanisms which are underfunded. I support increasing funding for the Right to Counsel, Department of Buildings and the NYC Commission on Human Rights. I support and will continue to support invoking imminent domain on bad actors especially large landlords: I believe those properties should become eligible to apply to be Community Land Trusts, Co-ops or Non-Profit run housing.

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)

Homeless Shelters are the emergency rooms of housing crises. I believe that no one in my community should have to seek shelter in another borough while their housing crisis is rectified.

32. Do you agree that all evictions are bad? No

32a. If no, why not? Homelessness is unconscionable and unethical. In my district nearly 50% of my constituents are home-owners.  Older home-owners, or those with family members with disabilities rely on that income to pay their mortgages. I’ve also had neighbors with tenants in their small multi-family homes who are destructive or negligent; the City has a responsibility to homeowners and tenants and should ensure solvency for small landlords housing people (like during a Heat Season eviction moratorium).

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)?  No

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)
I am happy to organize collective action to encourage the board to lower rent for rent stabilized tenants. I believe this can be achieved by uniting with community groups, legislators and activists throughout the city.

36. Have you ever testified on behalf of tenants at a public hearing of the RGB? Yes

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