Dimple Willabus

Dimple Willabus

www.dimplewillabus.com

Twitter: @dimplewillabus Instagram: @dimplewillabus

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 worked closely with the presidents of our local NYCHA tenants associations and the Housing Residents First organization to advocate for and address concerns of our most vulnerable tenants. I’ve also collaborated with them, utilizing my NFP organization to provide  fresh groceries, PPEs, clothing, and school supplies for community residents.

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? 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?  Yes

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)

I earned a real estate salesperson license, but I never actively worked in the industry. I can guarantee that tenants’ interests will always be made a priority. Housing security is one of my top 3 campaign & community priorities. Housing is a right!

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)

Sustainability, Accessibility and Affordability are the most pressing issues. I will continue to advocate that there is a review & reduction of AMI at the federal level, so that parameters for low income qualification are reduced. I will expand efforts and bridge any gaps between the built industry & our communities to ensure we build sustainable & safe neighborhoods. I will also ensure that developers commit to more stringent requirements of inclusivity that allow for greater community input, permanent jobs, housing & green spaces for current residents

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  Sustainability, Accessibility and Affordability are the most pressing issues. I will continue to advocate that there is a review & reduction of AMI at the federal level, so that parameters for low income qualification are reduced. I will expand efforts and bridge any gaps between the built industry & our communities to ensure we build sustainable & safe neighborhoods. I will also ensure that developers commit to more stringent requirements of inclusivity that allow for greater community input, permanent jobs, housing & green spaces for current residents

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?

NYCHA has to be recognized & treated as a community investment. We most hold government funding to the strictest levels of compliance and the standards of upgrade must meet the same stringent standards that we hold private development to. That means creating and implementing a plan that prioritizes safety, health, sustainability & the environment. We also need to expand Local Law 97 to include NYCHA. Finally, an adjustment to AMI standards is necessary to maximize funding to our community.

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 need to know that development proposals are guaranteeing permanent jobs, sustainable & affordable housing, community centers & green spaces  for current residents of the community, who are most likely to be impacted by the project. Before we grant tax incentives for big developers, we need to secure our tenants and communities.

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

Educating the community is key. We need to ensure zoning legislation is written in plain language. We further need to ensure that we utilize technology to maximize information sharing and input between ALL community stakeholders. Making meetings and hearings easily accessible is necessary. Another necessity is that any pre- or post-hearing reports are thoroughly distributed and accessible to the community.

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 25% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  25%

23. What is/has been the most important land use fight in your district and what position did you take on it?  (500 characters)

Environmental resiliency has been the top issue, especially with regard to coastal flooding and proper infrastructure. Having suffered through Hurricane Sandy, our district residents know that we are susceptible to future environment impacts. I am committed to working with the built industry to ensure we are building sustainable housing and designing resiliency-prioritized infrastructure to protect our community.

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 would continue to support the City’s use of making the repairs and then assigning the charges to landlords in conjunction with fines. I am also open to the use of imminent domain to confiscate the property of the worst landlords and turning that property over to NFP organizations whose focus is housing.

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)

I would not oppose building shelters, however I think that there are more than enough unoccupied and underutilized housing structures currently in existence. We need to first maximize current availability to have a more immediate impact in the homeless community and to lessen the levels of housing insecurity. We can also convert temporary lodging facilities (i.e. hotels) into more permanent living structures especially since our district is known as a transportation desert.

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)
I believe that the economic numbers will tell the true story of the desperation of many of our tenants as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. I would use my platform to convince them that the key to recovery and the City’s long term viability is directly tied into alleviating some of the pressures of rental cost of living.

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? No