Chi Ossé

Chi Ossé

http://osse2021.com

Twitter: Ossé 2021 Instagram: @Ossé2021

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 fought to keep renters aware of the subsidy and relief programs available. Before I am able to legislate for their protection, I decided to ensure residents were aware of the fiscal and support programs.

My team pushed the State Relief effort, and reached 2700 neighbors

I have an on-going campaign regarding the One Shot, COVID reliefs and CityFHEP to inform renters facing rental & utilities debt or facing eviction – we have reached over 2000 neighbors

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

Own a co-op, condo or private home

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)

At present, the most pressing housing issues are homelessness, NYCHA underfunding, an affordability crisis, and a looming evictions. The issues of course have significant overlap, keeping New Yorkers in their homes supports dignified lives and prevents further homelessness.

Specifically, I would expand the use and awareness of the One Shot Deal & CityFHEPS while assessing the approval thresholds.

Furthermore, I would re-examine the use ULURP: More transparency for the community; emphasize MWBE & local vendor use; with CB 3 and 8, receive quarterly updates from developers to monitor process; and, expect an affordable housing plan uses more than AMI or 80/20 determinants. I am hiring a zone and ULURP expert to lead my engagements and to advise both CB8 and CB 3 during zoning decisions.

I will work with state and federal elections to achieve a fully funded NYCHA, Call for collective tenant management of NYCHA, and Expand the NYCHA-based hirings and tenant association programs.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  At present, the most pressing housing issues are homelessness, NYCHA underfunding, an affordability crisis, and a looming evictions. The issues of course have significant overlap, keeping New Yorkers in their homes supports dignified lives and prevents further homelessness.

Specifically, I would expand the use and awareness of the One Shot Deal & CityFHEPS while assessing the approval thresholds.

Furthermore, I would re-examine the use ULURP: More transparency for the community; emphasize MWBE & local vendor use; with CB 3 and 8, receive quarterly updates from developers to monitor process; and, expect an affordable housing plan uses more than AMI or 80/20 determinants. I am hiring a zone and ULURP expert to lead my engagements and to advise both CB8 and CB 3 during zoning decisions.

I will work with state and federal elections to achieve a fully funded NYCHA, Call for collective tenant management of NYCHA, and Expand the NYCHA-based hirings and tenant association programs.

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?

NYCHA’s  repair costs are estimated to be over $40,000,000. We must work with state and federal lawmakers to direct more funding to our NYCHA developments. Furthermore, to give more autonomy to residents, I would Call for collective tenant management of NYCHA.

I would work to expand the NYCHA-based hirings and tenant association programs. With the latter, advocate for Resident Advisory Board & Citywide Council of Presidents — their influence and powers require review and possible expansion.

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? No

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

I would keep the developers to do quarterly check-ins with CBs and my office. The reports would have to be consistent with deals and agreements.

“What is the Union plan? Plan to use union-members from the district?” I would emphasize the need to create opportunities for MWBE firms as vendors. I would  Introduce the community leaders to the process for input & clarity on effect. I would Advocate for local vendors, employees (general & senior) &  local banks to be involved in the development.

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

Two definite changes:

Planners: Install a zonie lawyer or expect to guide Community Boards in the processes and interactions with government and developers. My office will have a planner who will advise and assist the Community Boards. However, I will work with the Borough Presidents & Council to install one at every Community Boards.

Power: Give the Community Boards more power, this can include the Boards voting in two or three members of the City Planning Commission, to ensure citizen voice.

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 15% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  2%

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 fight is for dignified, democratic living.

A large number of neighborhood residents have been forced to move due to boorish rents and too few affordable apartments.

This is why public lands need to be developed to support current families to have access. The 80/20 model is failing us. 60/40 needs to be the starting point with 25% being the floor. Heavy initial fees need reduction or caps.

Zoning transparency is important, to empower  Community Boards to fight predatory developers.

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)

I use technology not only to spread campaign messages but create awareness. This will continue & expand. Educate our tenants on the responsibilities of a landlord. Not once but often, in quarterly cycles. Be aware of nefarious landlords via the publications from CBOs and Public Advocate. Spot visit to document & support residents seeking Housing Court remedies.

While  supporting residents, a recurring concern is follow-up & action. I am conducting an action-driven & responsive campaign.

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)

Folks living with unstable housing conditions are New Yorkers, just like the rest of us. Opposition to shelters is a dangerous form of NIMBYism that is frankly dehumanizing. Our neighbors and community members are the exact same people they were before losing their homes. As long as we see shelters as a stopgap measure and not a solution, it is our duty as citizens of a shared society to ensure they are sheltered until they have secured stable housing once again.

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

32a. If no, why not? Even with a yes, most evictions are bad. However, we do have an obligation to protect small owners from bad actors or the inability to pay rent. Black, Brown owners cannot afford to have unpaid renters or renters who are violating legal statues/regulations in their properties.

Publicly owned building should include support for tenants facing hardships. Bad actors in publicly owned buildings should also face consequences — eviction should always be a method of final, last and extreme resort.

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 change how appointments are decided. The two members, of the nine-person panel, representing the tenants, should come from the tenants. This can be conducted via vote or the community boards.

Second, the City can start to treat Rent-Stabilized owners as they do developers. Offer tax incentives to support the rent decreases. The decreases can roll back, two years, to parallel the private and public losses from the pandemic. Thus taxation can roll back to support the owners.

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