District  70 Joshua Clennon         

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?  Limited Equity Co-Op / HFDC / Mitchell-Lama

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?  No

Have you ever worked in, or had another affiliation with, the Real Estate industry?  Yes

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?  As a candidate for the New York Assembly, my background in property management for low-income housing cooperatives uniquely positions me to advocate for tenants’ interests at the legislative level. As a working-class resident myself, I am directly impacte

Do you believe housing is a human right? Yes

If so, what does that mean to you?  As a candidate for public office, I believe that ensuring access to safe, affordable, and stable housing is a fundamental human right. While I recognize that housing is currently treated as a commodity in many housing markets, leading to issues of affordability, speculation, and displacement, I believe in exploring alternative models that prioritize housing as a basic need rather than a profit-driven investment. Decommodification of housing involves shifting away from market-based approaches to housing provision and instead implementing policies and programs that prioritize the well-being and housing security of individuals and communities.Decommodifying housing may involve various strategies, such as promoting community land trusts, cooperative housing models, social housing programs, and public investment in affordable housing development. These approaches prioritize collective ownership, democratic decision-making, and long-term affordability over profit maximization, speculative investment, and displacement.While decommodifying housing presents challenges and may require significant systemic changes, I believe it is worth exploring as part of a comprehensive strategy to address housing affordability, homelessness, and inequity. Ultimately, the goal should be to ensure that everyone has access to safe, dignified, and affordable housing, regardless of their income, background, or status in society.

What actions have you taken in the past to fight for housing justice?  In addition to my professional work maintaining affordable housing, I have been actively involved in fighting for housing justice in my community. On a daily basis, I assist Harlem residents with various housing issues by sharing resources and information. This includes helping people understand their lease agreements, navigate maintenance issues, and guiding them on how to advocate for their housing rights.

Furthermore, I have volunteered with local community organizations and advocacy groups focused on housing justice. Through these efforts, I have participated in community meetings, organized educational workshops, and collaborated with stakeholders to address housing affordability, tenant rights, and neighborhood development concerns.

As a leader on Community Board 10, I have fought against the overdevelopment of luxury housing and advocated for housing justice for residents at Lenox Terrace. This involved engaging with developers, city agencies, and community members to ensure that new development projects prioritize affordable housing options and address the needs of existing residents.

In my role as a housing advocate, I have also engaged with policymakers and elected officials to push for legislation and policies that prioritize affordable housing, protect tenants’ rights, and address systemic issues contributing to housing inequality.

Overall, my commitment to fighting for housing justice extends beyond my professional responsibilities, as I actively work to empower and support residents in securing safe, stable, and affordable housing options in our community.

What are the most pressing housing issues, and what would you do as an elected official to address them?   As an elected official, I recognize that housing affordability, tenant rights, and equitable access to housing are among the most pressing issues facing our communities. To address these challenges, I would prioritize the following actions:Affordable Housing Preservation and Development: Work to increase funding and resources for the preservation and development of affordable housing units, particularly for low-income individuals and families. This includes supporting initiatives to rehabilitate existing housing stock, incentivize the construction of new affordable units, and protect tenants from displacement due to gentrification. I would support bills such as Assembly Bill A5865 -Community Land Trust to facilitate community-led development of affordable housing.Tenant Protections and Rights: Advocate for stronger tenant protections and rights to ensure that all residents have safe, decent, and stable housing. This may involve supporting legislation such as the good cause eviction to prevent unjust evictions and prevent price gouging and unreasonable rent increases. Additionally, I would support the state right to counsel bill to ensure that tenants facing eviction have access to legal representation, the city program is underfund and many tenants are still facing eviction proceedings without representation.Homelessness Prevention: Implement strategies to address homelessness and housing instability by providing support services, rental assistance, and housing subsidies to individuals and families at risk of homelessness. This includes investing in supportive housing programs, mental health services, and job training opportunities to help individuals and families achieve housing stability.Fair Housing Practices: Promote fair housing practices and combat housing discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability, or other protected characteristics. This includes enforcing anti-discrimination laws, promoting inclusive zoning policies, and increasing access to affordable housing options in all neighborhoods.Community Engagement and Empowerment: Foster community engagement and collaboration in decision-making processes related to housing policy and development. This involves creating opportunities for residents to participate in community planning efforts, advocate for their needs, and hold elected officials and developers accountable for equitable and inclusive housing solutions.By addressing these pressing housing issues through a combination of policy initiatives, funding allocations, and community partnerships, we can work towards creating more equitable, affordable, and sustainable housing opportunities for all residents in our district and beyond.

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?  Yes

Do you believe that housing should be decommodified? Yes

Please explain your answer. As a candidate for public office, I believe that ensuring access to safe, affordable, and stable housing is a fundamental human right. While I recognize that housing is currently treated as a commodity in many housing markets, leading to issues of affordability, speculation, and displacement, I believe in exploring alternative models that prioritize housing as a basic need rather than a profit-driven investment. Decommodification of housing involves shifting away from market-based approaches to housing provision and instead implementing policies and programs that prioritize the well-being and housing security of individuals and communities.Decommodifying housing may involve various strategies, such as promoting community land trusts, cooperative housing models, social housing programs, and public investment in affordable housing development. These approaches prioritize collective ownership, democratic decision-making, and long-term affordability over profit maximization, speculative investment, and displacement.While decommodifying housing presents challenges and may require significant systemic changes, I believe it is worth exploring as part of a comprehensive strategy to address housing affordability, homelessness, and inequity. Ultimately, the goal should be to ensure that everyone has access to safe, dignified, and affordable housing, regardless of their income, background, or status in society.

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 given the opportunity, I would prioritize enacting a robust statewide right to counsel for tenants facing eviction. This would ensure that individuals facing eviction have access to legal representation, leveling the playing field in housing court proc

Do you agree that all evictions are bad?  No

Why or why not?  While evictions can have devastating consequences for individuals and families, I don’t believe that all evictions are inherently bad. There may be cases where eviction is necessary due to nonpayment of rent, criminal activity, or other serious lease violations that affect the quality of life for other residents. However, it’s essential to ensure that evictions are carried out fairly, with due process, and that tenants have access to resources and support to prevent homelessness whenever possible. Additionally, efforts should be made to address the root causes of eviction, such as lack of affordable housing, economic hardship, and systemic inequalities, to prevent evictions from occurring in the first place. Ultimately, the goal should be to minimize evictions and prioritize housing stability for all individuals and families.

Do you support the concept of universal rent control?  Yes

Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and other privatization schemes?  No

Please explain why or why not No, I do not support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) or other privatization schemes for public housing. These initiatives often lead to the loss of public control over housing, the displacement of low-income residents, and the deterioration of housing conditions. Instead, I believe in investing in public housing as a crucial component of addressing the affordable housing crisis. This includes providing sufficient funding for repairs and renovations, improving management and oversight, and ensuring that residents have a meaningful voice in decision-making processes. Privatization schemes are not the solution to the challenges facing public housing, and I am committed to advocating for policies that prioritize the needs of NYCHA residents and preserve public control over affordable housing.

What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?  To rectify the chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair plaguing NYCHA, several strategies must be pursued:

                1.            Increased Funding: Advocate for significant increases in funding from federal, state, and local sources to address the backlog of repairs and capital needs. This funding should be allocated specifically for critical infrastructure upgrades, building renovations, and maintenance.

                2.            Transparency and Accountability: Implement measures to improve transparency and accountability within NYCHA’s management and operations. This includes regular reporting on spending, repair progress, and outcomes, as well as mechanisms for resident oversight and input.

                3.            Prioritization of Repairs: Develop a comprehensive plan to prioritize repairs based on urgency and impact on residents’ health and safety. This may involve conducting thorough assessments of each property’s condition and developing long-term maintenance schedules.

                4.            Streamlined Procurement and Contracting: Reform procurement and contracting processes to ensure efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and compliance with regulations. This may include implementing standardized procedures, increasing competition among vendors, and reducing bureaucratic hurdles.

                5.            Partnerships and Innovation: Explore partnerships with nonprofit organizations, community groups, and private sector entities to leverage resources, expertise, and innovative solutions. This could involve collaborations for funding, service delivery, or technology implementation.

                6.            Resident Empowerment: Empower NYCHA residents by providing opportunities for training, employment, and leadership roles within their communities. Engaging residents in decision-making processes and empowering them to advocate for their needs is essential for creating lasting change.

By implementing these strategies and committing to robust funding, transparency, and resident engagement, NYCHA can begin to address its longstanding challenges and improve the quality of life for its residents.

How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  As a member of the New York State Assembly, I would use my office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants through various strategies:

                1.            Legislative Advocacy: Introduce and support legislation at the state level that strengthens tenant protections, increases penalties for landlords who fail to make repairs, and provides resources for legal representation to tenants facing harassment. This could involve sponsoring bills to enhance enforcement mechanisms, expand renter rights, and establish avenues for tenants to hold landlords accountable under state law.

                2.            Oversight and Investigations: Utilize the oversight authority of the Assembly to conduct investigations into cases of landlord harassment, neglect, and non-compliance with housing laws. This may entail holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and collaborating with relevant state agencies to gather evidence and hold landlords accountable for their actions.

                3.            Community Engagement: Engage with tenants, tenant advocacy groups, and community organizations across New York State to raise awareness of tenants’ rights, provide resources and support to those facing harassment, and mobilize grassroots efforts to pressure landlords to make repairs and treat tenants fairly.

                4.            Legal Support: Work with legal aid organizations, pro-bono attorneys, and state agencies to support tenants in taking legal action against landlords who engage in harassment or fail to make repairs. This could involve providing funding for legal services, advocating for tenants’ rights in court, and ensuring access to justice for all residents.

                5.            Public Awareness Campaigns: Utilize the platform of the Assembly to raise public awareness of tenant issues, highlight cases of landlord harassment, and advocate for policy solutions to address housing inequality. This may include issuing press releases, organizing community forums, and leveraging social media to amplify tenant voices and hold landlords accountable.

By leveraging legislative advocacy, oversight, community engagement, legal support, and public awareness campaigns, I would use my position in the New York State Assembly to advocate for tenants’ rights, hold landlords accountable, and ensure that all residents have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing across the state.

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?  To advance the passage of Good Cause legislation prior to taking office, I would undertake several proactive steps:

                1.            Community Engagement: I will organize community meetings, town halls, and forums to educate residents about the significance of Good Cause protections. By fostering dialogue and awareness, we can build a groundswell of support from the grassroots level.

                2.            Coalition Building: Collaborating with tenant unions, advocacy groups, and housing organizations is crucial. Together, we can pool resources, expertise, and influence to advocate effectively for Good Cause legislation.

                3.            Media Outreach: Leveraging traditional media outlets and social media platforms, I will amplify the message of housing justice and the need for Good Cause protections. Op-eds, interviews, and social media campaigns will help raise awareness and garner public support.

                4.            Direct Advocacy: Meeting with current elected officials, policymakers, and key stakeholders will be essential. By articulating the benefits of Good Cause legislation and presenting compelling arguments supported by data and testimonies, we can urge decision-makers to prioritize this issue.

                5.            Mobilizing Support: Organizing petition drives, letter-writing campaigns, and rallies can demonstrate widespread community support for Good Cause protections. Through collective action, we can exert pressure on legislators to take decisive action.

By employing these strategies and harnessing the collective power of communities, organizations, and advocacy efforts, we can work towards securing the passage of Good Cause legislation and safeguarding tenants’ rights.

Will you support ending MCIs?  Yes

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?  As a candidate for the NY Assembly, I am deeply committed to empowering tenants and preserving affordable housing options in our district. One key way to achieve this is by supporting tenants in our community who wish to opt into the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA).

Drawing from my extensive experience in managing housing cooperatives, I understand the transformative potential of empowering residents to take control of their housing destiny. Housing cooperatives exemplify democratic decision-making and community ownership, allowing residents to collectively manage their properties and ensure long-term affordability.

If elected, I will champion legislation and initiatives that promote TOPA and make it more accessible to tenants in our district. Here’s how I plan to support tenants in opting into TOPA:

                1.            Education and Outreach: Many tenants may not be familiar with TOPA or its benefits. I will conduct educational workshops, distribute informational materials, and engage in community outreach efforts to raise awareness about TOPA and its potential to empower tenants.

                2.            Technical Assistance: Opting into TOPA can be a complex process, especially for tenants who may not have experience with cooperative ownership. I will work to provide technical assistance and support to tenants throughout the TOPA process, including navigating legal requirements, organizing tenant associations, and accessing financing options.

                3.            Collaboration with Housing Cooperatives: Drawing on my experience in managing housing cooperatives, I will leverage existing cooperative networks and resources to support tenants interested in TOPA. By fostering collaboration between housing cooperatives and tenant groups, we can share best practices, provide mentorship, and facilitate successful transitions to cooperative ownership.

                4.            Legislative Advocacy: As a legislator, I will advocate for policies and funding mechanisms that support TOPA implementation and enable tenants to acquire and preserve affordable housing. This may include advocating for increased funding for technical assistance programs, creating tax incentives for cooperative conversions, and expanding access to low-interest loans for tenant cooperatives.

By leveraging my experience with housing cooperatives and my commitment to tenant empowerment, I will work tirelessly to support tenants in our district who wish to opt into TOPA. Together, we can preserve affordable housing, promote community ownership, and empower residents to shape the future of their neighborhoods.

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

Do you support 421a or Gov Hochul’s proposed 485w?  No

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

Do you support the vacancy reset bill?  No

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?  No