Carolyn Tran

Carolyn Tran

CarolynTran.us

Twitter: @Iamcarolyntran Instagram: @Iamcarolyntran

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 time as Councilmember Dromm’s chief of staff I;ve worked closely with organizations like ChhayaCDC, Woodside on the Move, and AAFE in order to ensure that our tenant constituents received the assistance that they need. I believed that in order to receive substantial change, we needed to work beyond case management and legal support, we needed organizations that organized tenants and built tenant power to push back against the draconian and outdated laws that made our tenants victims.

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

Limited Equity Coop

4. Are you, or have you ever been, a landlord? Yes

4a. If yes, where & how many apts. did you own? 1

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)

One of the most pressing issues is the lack of adequate materials and resources to communities that don’t speak English. In my time working at Councilmember Dromm’s office i’ve seen far too many times that immigrant tenants were taken advantage of because they were not aware of how the law protected them. We can pass all the progressive laws, we can make housing a human right, we can hire all the attorneys to represent tenants, but it’s all moot if we can’t get the information to those that need it the most. I would ensure that any law passed in city council that impacts our immigrant and LEP communities needs to have provisions built in as how it will outreach to those communities. We need to also bring members of these communities to the table, and be able to get their expertise on how to better outreach the changes or laws to these communities. Language justice needs to be built into everything we do as a city.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  One of the most pressing issues is the lack of adequate materials and resources to communities that don’t speak English. In my time working at Councilmember Dromm’s office i’ve seen far too many times that immigrant tenants were taken advantage of because they were not aware of how the law protected them. We can pass all the progressive laws, we can make housing a human right, we can hire all the attorneys to represent tenants, but it’s all moot if we can’t get the information to those that need it the most. I would ensure that any law passed in city council that impacts our immigrant and LEP communities needs to have provisions built in as how it will outreach to those communities. We need to also bring members of these communities to the table, and be able to get their expertise on how to better outreach the changes or laws to these communities. Language justice needs to be built into everything we do as a city.

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?

We need to stop investing in privatization schemes and relying on the private sector to create affordable housing ,and instead invest these resources in making our NYCHA buildings up to code and safe for our NYCHA tenants. We also need to make returning and increasing the funding to NYCHA from the feds a priority. Now that we have a Dem president and fed government we need to hold them accountable to the promises they made to new yorkers and fully fund 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)

I would look for 100% affordable housing based on AMIs on the local community board  level. I would also want to see an environmental analysis from building the project. I refuse to sign off on anything that takes away public land or commodities and privatizes it, like what happened with the Flushing Waterfront. I would also want to see that the outreach and application process is done in a culturally and linguistically competent way for the different immigrant populations in the district.

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

Beyond community board meetings we need to have meetings at times that are accessible to our communities. The meetings need to be in languages that our community understands. This doesn’t mean just translation, but breaking it down so everyone can understand the process. Houseless folks, rent burdened, and other impacted communities need to be given priority.

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 are a number of developments in Elmhurst that are putting our unhoused communities at risk. There are parts of the neighborhood where our unhoused neighbors reside and have been using in order to stay out of the elements, but with new buildings going up in the area we fear that those owners will use the police to put them out of the neighborhood they call home. We need to see all new projects include units dedicated to these communities so they don’t have to leave their support system.

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)

We need to not only fund city programs to educate tenants, but initiatives like Stabilizing NYC. Tenant Organizers often come from the same communities they educate. They are trusted, culturally competent, and speak the same language. We need to ensure that they are funded well enough to reach out to problem buildings in our district and conduct the education and organizing efforts to put pressure on the landlords. We will do all in our power, as a councilmember, to also exert public pressure.

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)

Shelters will always be needed. We can house 100% of our population in affordable or even free housing, yet even then they will need to be a reality. There are always disasters, domestic violence situations, and so forth that make shelters necessary. We should always be prepared, especially when it’s dealing with peoples housing and shelter.

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)
We need to make sure that the RGB has accurate and up to date information. One of my other goals will be to sperate our small landlords from the clutches of REBNY and their ilk. For too long small landlords have been used by the landlord lobby to show that they’re not all so bad. We have many small landlords in our district that are good landlords and have more in line with tenants than large corporations. By breaking them apart, i know we can weaken REBNY and their influence on the RGB.

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