Denise Keehan-Smith

Denise Keehan-Smith

www.denisekeehansmith.com

Twitter: @denise4queens Instagram: na

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)

In my former postition as Chairwoman of Community Board 2, we’ve always advocated for affordable housing in every project brought before the board. As a member of the Sunnyside Yard Steering Committee I also encouraged development for low and middle income familiese as well as Senior and Veteran specific housing.

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

Limited Equity Coop

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)

Lack of affordable housing and severe shortage of housing for the homeless are two critical components of my campaign. It is imperative that the current formula used to calculate AMI is revised. It does not accurately reflect the income of all New Yorkers and includes income from those outside the immediate area, including Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey.  We also need to provide humane living conditions for the homeless members of our community. They should not be housed in warehouse type settings without receiving proper services. I would support smaller apartment settings in which residents could become part of their local community.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  Lack of affordable housing and severe shortage of housing for the homeless are two critical components of my campaign. It is imperative that the current formula used to calculate AMI is revised. It does not accurately reflect the income of all New Yorkers and includes income from those outside the immediate area, including Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey.  We also need to provide humane living conditions for the homeless members of our community. They should not be housed in warehouse type settings without receiving proper services. I would support smaller apartment settings in which residents could become part of their local community.

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?  No

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?

Appointing a team of people to evaluate the conditions, develop a plan to address the issues and execute the plan successfully. Require this group to be accountable for the corrections and make adjustments as necessary.

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)

Miminal negative impact to the community in which it is done. If a new project allows for more housing units, a percentage of those units should be allocated for lower AMI, include community space as well as green space.

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

Ensure all members of a community have adequate resources to voice their opinions, including those within the senior and lower income comunities who may not have access to the internet. I would ensure calls are made to senior, veteran and social services offices to ensure the majority of residents are aware of what’s happening in their neighborhood

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 20% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  20%

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 destruction of the 5 Pointz building in LIC and its replacement of the Wolkoff Towers on Jackson Avenue. I was very much opposed to it while on Community Board and challenged the owners to reduce AMI, offer artists space and community room space

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)

Re-evaluate their subsidies and take them away if numerous complaints against them are made. I would coordinate with other councilmembers to review the worst offenders and seek punitive action against them

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? No

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)

Because housing is a human right

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

32a. If no, why not? There could be extnenuating circumstances including domestic violence

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? No

35a. If yes, what will you do to influence the board to do so?  (500 characters)
If costs increase to maintain the building, the landlord should be fairly compensated

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? No

38. Will you commit to only vote for a budget that decreases funding to the NYPD? No