District  70 Jordan Wright             

Will you publicize an endorsement from Met Council Action?  Yes             

Will you pledge to meet with us regularly?  Yes

What type of housing do you live in?  Unregulated rental apartment

Are you now, or have you ever been a landlord?  No

If yes, how many units?

Does your campaign accept contributions from real estate developers (including related individuals), corporate lobbyists, organizations that participate in the carceral system, and/or landlords?  Yes

Have you ever worked in, or had another affiliation with, the Real Estate industry?  No

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

If so, how can we be assured you will have tenants’ interests in mind?  

Do you believe housing is a human right? Yes

If so, what does that mean to you?  New York has been able to get housing right in the past, and it’s largely because we have multiple forms of housing options, including social-housing programs, co-ops, small- and big-developments, and so on. I would have strong concerns in a fully decommodified system about how we might ensure that repairs and maintenance could be paid for, as well as impeding the ability for Harlem residents to create generational wealth for their family through homeownership and the ability to rent out units. Tenant protection legislation is certainly the better option.

What actions have you taken in the past to fight for housing justice?  My family has a long history of fighting for the rights of tenants in this state. When my father, Keith L.T. Wright, served as Chair of the Housing Committee in the Assembly, he worked tirelessly to protect the rights of tenants and expand access to programs like Mitchell-Lama. Even before that, he was the head of the tenants’ association at the Riverton Houses, where I grew up. After having witnessed the compassion with which my father dealt with tenants’ issues, it served as my own inspiration to advocate for my fellow tenants through my work on the Community Board. Fighting for tenants and increased homeownership will be a top priority for me if elected to serve Harlem in the NYS Assembly.

What are the most pressing housing issues, and what would you do as an elected official to address them?   The lack of new affordable development is at the root of the housing crisis in NY. In the Assembly, I will fight for a meaningful incentive for affordable development in conjunction with sustainable wage measures for construction projects and robust tenant protections so New Yorkers are rarely ever forced out of their homes. I will seek to overturn senseless laws preventing the legalization of safe basement and cellar dwellings in NYC. Legalization means regulation and increased tenant safety.

Have you or anyone close to you (family, friend, etc) been evicted or been threatened with eviction?  Yes

Have you ever had to fight a landlord for repairs or faced harassment?  No

Do you believe that housing should be decommodified? No

Please explain your answer. New York has been able to get housing right in the past, and it’s largely because we have multiple forms of housing options, including social-housing programs, co-ops, small- and big-developments, and so on. I would have strong concerns in a fully decommodified system about how we might ensure that repairs and maintenance could be paid for, as well as impeding the ability for Harlem residents to create generational wealth for their family through homeownership and the ability to rent out units. Tenant protection legislation is certainly the better option.

Do you believe in publicly owned and controlled housing?  Yes

What is one rent and/or eviction protection you would enact if you had the opportunity?  If I could enact any rent/eviction protection, I would work to implement Good Cause provisions that have stalled for so long. This way, we can ensure that tenants will rarely be forced from their home.

Do you agree that all evictions are bad?  No

Why or why not?  In the same way that there are sometimes bad landlords, there are sometimes extremely bad tenants whom it would be unjust for the government to protect from eviction. If a tenant willfully causes substantial damage to a property, if they clearly violate terms of a lease to which they themselves agreed, if they consistently neglect to pay rent, or is causing a burdensome nuisance to neighbors or the property owner, eviction is unfortunately the only answer. Of course, these should occur in the rarest of circumstances.

Do you support the concept of universal rent control?  No

Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and other privatization schemes?  Yes

Please explain why or why not With NYCHA hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and facing repairs costs in the tens of billions, NY tenants are bearing the brunt of ridiculous mismanagement. RAD has proven to be a successful program in its implementation, with the potential to streamline bureaucratic repair processes and increase living conditions. My main concern is that we continue to educate tenants on their rights during the transfer of building control to ease the fears and rumors that arise.

What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?  I think we need to take an all-of-the-above approach to fixing NYCHA’s web of serious troubles. First of all, I favor sharply increasing NYCHA’s budget in conjunction with measures to ensure accountability that has largely been absent due to decades of bureaucratic mismanagement. I support RAD when tenants have bought into such programs, and I support the rebuilding of certain housing projects for which repairing individual apartments would not be markedly less expensive than replacing entire buildings (always with tenant support and without tenant displacement).

How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  I will be sure to offer services to renters in my district to make their grievances heard, and if those grievances are legitimate, I will look to engage with the landlord to ensure that sufficient steps are taken. If they are not, I will publicly fight on behalf of my constituents in order to ensure that their rights are always protected in the case of a hostile landlord.

Do you support regulating the 300,000 deregulated rent-stabilized apartments? No

Will you support increased funding and oversight hearings of DHCR’s Office of Rent Administration to ensure timely responses on overcharge complaints and rent reduction orders for hazardous conditions?  Yes

Do you support stronger penalties against landlords that practice source of income discrimination? Yes

Do you support Good Cause Eviction Protections?  Yes

What will you do to ensure Good Cause gets passed this session?  The solution to our housing crisis must include a version of Good Cause Eviction legislation that affords the protections needed so New Yorkers are rarely ever forced out of their homes. As someone whose utmost priority is passing a sustainable incentive for affordable housing development, I look forward to bringing the various sides of the issue together in a way that centers the needs of the Village of Harlem and highlights the need to move urgently with a comprehensive solution. With that said, I hope that Good Cause legislation can be passed during this session before my term would begin.

Will you support ending MCIs?  No

Will you commit to fully funding the Housing Access Voucher Program?  Yes

Do you support the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)?  Yes

How will you support tenants in your district opting into TOPA?  My office will strive to have the highest quality of constituent services. Under that umbrella, we would do outreach and host information sessions when TOPA issues arise so that all community members are educated on their options.

Do you support the move to legalize basement apartments and Accessory dwelling units?  Yes

Do you support 421a or Gov Hochul’s proposed 485w?  Yes

Do you support fully funding the Unemployment Bridge Program (S3192 | A4821)?  Yes

Do you support the vacancy reset bill?  Yes

Are you committed to making sure every tenant in the state has free access to counsel in Housing Court by fully funding Right to Counsel in 2025’s budget?  Yes

What will you do to ensure that OCA makes proceedings for tenants facing eviction fair by slowing down cases to match the capacity of legal service providers?  Yes

Do you support the creation of a Social Housing Development Authority?  Yes

Do you support legislation to reform the NYC Rent Guidelines Board?  Yes

Do you support the Universal Rent Control bill (to be introduced) – do you support expanding rent regulation to smaller buildings?  No

Do you support increasing the Individual Apartment Increases (IAI) allowance?  Yes