Cordell Cleare

Cordell Cleare

www.Cleare2021.com

Twitter: Cleare2021 Instagram: Cleare2021

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)

Organized tenants to participate in demonstrations, city and state lobby days, phone, email, petitions, and letter-writing campaigns to elected officials.  Fought for and with hundreds of individual tenants and tenant associations to get various housing issues resolved.   I’ve testified at hearings, lobbied legislators, helped write and pass legislation to strengthen tenant protections.  supported numerous pieces of legislation presented by housing groups and advocates.

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? 0

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)

N/A

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)

Pandemic rental arrears- The moratorium on evictions should be extended until at least the end of the year.  Tax the rich. Extend and expand state rental assistance to tenants and small landlords. Offer tax reductions/forgiveness for homeowners and landlords.  Push for federal aid to prevent displacement.

Adjust the (AMI)- Income definitions should be defined by more localized income standards instead of the current formula being used.  Work with my colleagues in the City Council, the Mayor and other state and federal elected officials to develop a median income definition based on neighborhood incomes.

Public housing-  The repair, safety and renovation of public housing is crucial to maintaining one of the largest sources of truly affordable housing in our city.  Advocate for a significant infusion of federal and state aid and use tax the rich dollars to repair and upgrade public housing.  Work with advocates and tenants to develop a plan for tenant controlled/owned housing.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  Pandemic rental arrears- The moratorium on evictions should be extended until at least the end of the year.  Tax the rich. Extend and expand state rental assistance to tenants and small landlords. Offer tax reductions/forgiveness for homeowners and landlords.  Push for federal aid to prevent displacement.

Adjust the (AMI)- Income definitions should be defined by more localized income standards instead of the current formula being used.  Work with my colleagues in the City Council, the Mayor and other state and federal elected officials to develop a median income definition based on neighborhood incomes.

Public housing-  The repair, safety and renovation of public housing is crucial to maintaining one of the largest sources of truly affordable housing in our city.  Advocate for a significant infusion of federal and state aid and use tax the rich dollars to repair and upgrade public housing.  Work with advocates and tenants to develop a plan for tenant controlled/owned housing.

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?

Advocate for a significant infusion of federal and state aid and use tax the rich dollars to repair and upgrade public housing.  Work with advocates and tenants to develop a plan for tenant controlled/owned housing.  Meet with residents, housing advocates and top NYCHA officials to plan and monitor repairs.  Hold regular hearing to increase accountability from agency heads.

14. Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)/ PACT program and other privatization schemes? Depends

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)

More than 50 percent of the project would have to be dedicated to low income and moderate income individuals and families as defined by a localized area median income standard.  A racial impact study must be conducted.

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

Lengthen the period of time for the community to respond to zoning change proposals.  Provide experts to review and advise community on the impact of proposed projects to the community so that the community does not have to rely on the opinion of professionals hired by the developer.

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 30% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  30%

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 been many.  Most recently I worked with tenants, community and clergy to successfully beat back a proposal to up zone Lenox Terrace which would have allowed for 5 new 28 story towers and 1600 new units with only 400 priced below market rate.  Even the 400 priced below market rate did not guarantee affordability to neighborhood residents.

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)

Fund tenant education and legal services organizations.  Send out printed and digital information and links with pertinent housing information, resources, affordable housing listing notices, legal services and more.  Direct city housing and building code agencies to enforce housing and building codes.  Use my office to publicize cases of landlords who harass tenants.  Introduce legislation to prohibit bad actors from receiving tax breaks, funding and participating in certain HPD programs.

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 would much rather see money spent to build permanent housing units that are truly affordable than to build more shelters where it costs significantly more to house individuals and families temporarily.  Our district has a large number of temporary housing facilities Where we absolutely must have shelters there should be fair distribution in all neighborhoods throughout the city.

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

32a. If no, why not? Evictions are bad in most cases but some are necessary in cases where individuals pose a danger to themselves and or others.  And even in those cases there are those who need to be relocated to assisted living, supportive housing and other kinds of housing with care in the premises to help them continue living somewhat independently.

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)
I will testify at hearings, lobby RGB participate in demonstrations, write letters and organize constituents to do the same.  Advocate for the appointment of members who best represent tenant concerns and understand the need for affordability for fixed, low and moderate income tenants.

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