District  70 Maria Ordoñez          

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?  Regulated 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?  No

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?  Housing should be at the hands of the people and off the hands of greedy landlords. We must ensure working class New Yorkers can afford to stay where they live and pay their rents.

What actions have you taken in the past to fight for housing justice?  I’m born & raised in Harlem and have lived in 3333 Broadway, formerly a Mitchell-Lama, my entire life. I began organizing in my building when tenants got together to ask for repairs for their apartments and support with language access for tenants who don’t speak English. In 2021, I ran for City Council District 7 in a highly contested race, where I obtained 2nd place, and housing justice was one of my priorities. While I did not win this race I have organized with tenants in my neighborhoods to pressure Shaun Abreu around housing issues. I have also organized with Harlem & Washington Heights tenant activists to put a stop to the Rent Guidelines Board’s rent hikes. Most recently, I have also organized with neighbors in Harlem to support them as they fight back their landlord who has neglected repairs.

What are the most pressing housing issues, and what would you do as an elected official to address them?   New York State is facing a housing crisis, rents keep rising, and people continue to struggle to pay for rents and keep their homes. We need to create and build more truly affordable housing that’s accessible and affordable for working class New Yorkers. However, we also need to protect tenants’ rights to ensure that folks can stay in their homes. As an Assemblymember, I will advocate that all new developments in Harlem be truly affordable for our community, social housing, TOPA, the Housing Access Voucher Program, and Good Cause Eviction. Additionally, as an organizer, I know that the greatest positive change happens when we organize. As an Assemblymember, I will use my office as an organizing space where tenants can seek resources, support, and can organize their buildings alongside their neighbors.

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. Housing should be at the hands of the people and off the hands of greedy landlords. We must ensure working class New Yorkers can afford to stay where they live and pay their rents.

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 had the power to do this, I would ensure that we freeze rent for everyone who is under public assistance and/or is low-income. I would also ensure there are absolutely no evictions for people who are organizing in their building, are withholding thei

Do you agree that all evictions are bad?  Yes

Why or why not?  Evictions are bad because they are a mechanism through which landlords can get rid of tenants, oftentimes black & brown, low-income tenants who are not informed about their rights or don’t know how to access legal representation.

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 I do not support RAD or other privatization schemes because public housing should be kept public. We should be investing in the needed renovations in public housing while giving public housing residents ownership of their homes. Although these studies may require greater research, some have already shown that RAD is linked with increased evictions in that complex. Housing is a right and when we keep it as a public good, so working class New Yorkers are able to enjoy greater housing stability and affordability.

What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?  We need to look at ways of using state funds to invest in the needed repairs for NYCHA. In order to make this happen, we need to Tax the Rich to create revenue and some of it can go towards supporting NYCHA.

How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  As an Assemblymember, I will use my office as an organizing space where tenants can seek resources, support, and can organize their buildings alongside their neighbors.

Do you support regulating the 300,000 deregulated rent-stabilized apartments? Yes

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?  As an Assemblymember, I will use my position to advocate for the passage of this much needed bill. I will host town halls and forums to inform my district so they know the benefits of Good Cause Eviction for Harlem. On top of this, I will collaborate with tenants’ rights advocacy groups and my colleagues in the Assembly to pressure other Assemblymembers to vote in favor of this bill. We need to involve organizers, advocacy groups, housing experts, and constituents to this fight in order to pressure and convince every elected official that Good Cause Eviction is a bill we must pass in Albany.

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?  I will support tenants in my district opting into TOPA by collaborating with community organizations to ensure that tenants are informed. I will also use my office space as a place where tenants can come apply and seek support with anything relating to the process of opting into TOPA.

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?  Yes

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