Chris Sosa

Chris Sosa

sosafornyc.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisSosa Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sosafornyc/

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 been an advocate for my community in several land use disputes. I testified before the City Council in opposition to the NY Blood Center proposal, a profit-oriented development which would have a significant impact on community life and health. I also actively opposed the Flushing Waterfront Rezoning plan for its lack of affordable housing and was part of the successful fight to prevent gentrification and displacement as a result of major rezoning in Industry City.

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)

By tackling our most immediate housing crises first, we can build support within our communities to take bigger and bolder steps in the future. The housing crises that must be dealt with now in order to prevent further damage to our City include eviction, rent hikes and the growth of the City’s homeless population. I would advocate for the expansion of affordable housing units and call for the establishment of Universal Rent Control. I would also push for the extension of the Universal Eviction Moratorium and work to educate my residents about their legal rights in housing disputes. People experiencing homelessness in our City must be provided with care and shelter immediately. In order to prevent more residents from joining this population we can invest in programs that support low-income households and prevent eviction. I support the improvement and expansion of the Right to Counsel program. I would also strongly advocate for the passage of Intros 2050, 1104 and 1529.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  By tackling our most immediate housing crises first, we can build support within our communities to take bigger and bolder steps in the future. The housing crises that must be dealt with now in order to prevent further damage to our City include eviction, rent hikes and the growth of the City’s homeless population. I would advocate for the expansion of affordable housing units and call for the establishment of Universal Rent Control. I would also push for the extension of the Universal Eviction Moratorium and work to educate my residents about their legal rights in housing disputes. People experiencing homelessness in our City must be provided with care and shelter immediately. In order to prevent more residents from joining this population we can invest in programs that support low-income households and prevent eviction. I support the improvement and expansion of the Right to Counsel program. I would also strongly advocate for the passage of Intros 2050, 1104 and 1529.

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 would support the allocation of $32 billion dollars for the New York City Housing Authority to complete long neglected repairs across the city and frequent audits of the NYCHA to detect mismanagement and other chronic issues. We must avoid any privatization of the NYCHA, regardless of the fast cash that it may provide. Establishing democratic control over the NYCHA will allow community members and labor union members who work at the NYCHA to reorient its priorities and set a new path forward.

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 seek community approval for proposed rezoning and attempt to evaluate all relevant impact reviews. I am opposed to zoning that may increase or sustain inequality in our community— this would influence my perspective on the issue. I am opposed to all rezoning that encourages gentrification or private profit at the expense of affordable housing. My support would depend on whether the change would improve affordable housing opportunities and how the rezoning would impact the environment.

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

We must reform ULURP (Universal Land Use Review Procedure) by passing Intro 1572, a law that would require a racial disparity report for all ULURP applications. This change should be accompanied by others that allow for more in depth examination of the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of all zoning proposals. ULURP meetings must be made accessible to all residents and the process must be altered in order to give greater weight to the opinions of community members.

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)

Choosing one fight is difficult. In recent months, I actively supported the creation of a Safe Haven shelter on 91st Street to serve people experiencing homelessness. I also testified in opposition to the New York Blood Center rezoning, which would degrade the environment and has the potential to negatively impact affordable housing all while leasing space to for-profit entities.

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)

As a council member I would support penalties for landlords who engage in harassment tactics and improve our communication platforms with tenants in order to ensure proper accountability. One of these communication platforms would be my own office— I would keep an open door to all residents having conflicts with their landlords. If I felt that tenants were being treated unfairly, I would utilize my position to provide them with the resources and advocacy  necessary to seek justice.

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? Yes

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

I am in full support of the construction of homeless shelters in my district, particularly because District 5. Homeless shelters are the first step toward providing permanent housing for a growing population in desperate need. The construction and operation of shelters will also provide employment for members of the community. I actively supported the approval of a new Safe Haven shelter in my neighborhood this year which recently received approval from the local community board.

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)
As a council member I would seek to end the board’s tendency to raise rents and take the side of landlords. I would advocate for my residents, attend Board hearings and meetings. I would also advocate for better representation on the Board— we must have governing bodies that are made up of current and former tenants and community leaders who are truly on the side of our residents

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