District  87 Karines Reyes             

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?  Own co-op, condo, or private home

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

If yes, how many units? 0

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?  95% of the cases that my district office resolves relate to housing and a significant portion/vast majority of the cases are tenants dealing with harassment from their landlord. Also, when I first came to this country in the 1980s, the lifeline that my fa

Do you believe housing is a human right? Yes

If so, what does that mean to you?  I believe that housing as been controlled more by market forces than by the need to provide folks with actual homes for survival. The commoditization of housing has led market forces that, in some cases, would rather have people go without adequate housing for the profit of those owning properties. We need to remove housing as a commodity, as a means to ensuring that all people can get access to the housing that they need.

What actions have you taken in the past to fight for housing justice?  Over the past 6 years, I have cosponsored numerous bills promoting housing justice, including the 2019 tenant protections legislation. Additionally, I have sponsored important bills including the sweeping Eviction Moratorium legislation that would have provided the most generous Pandemic-related pause during the COVID-19 crisis. I sponsored the law that creates more supportive housing for the low-income and formerly homeless, the Housing Our Neighbors With Dignity Act (HONDA), which accomplishes this goal by allowing commercial and hotel properties to be converted into housing. Lastly, during my first term on the Assembly Housing Committee, I stood against Speaker Heastie and Assembly leadership to attempt to block the first iteration of the $100 million COVID rent relief program (which was distributed by NYS DHCR) and many in the community foresaw the disaster that it would become. I am not afraid to stand up for what’s right when it impacts my tenants, especially when my district falls in the top 10 Assembly district in New York State with the highest eviction rates.

What are the most pressing housing issues, and what would you do as an elected official to address them?   The most pressing issues that I see with housing are with the existing tenants and housing stock. I see that tenants are being exposed to harassment and older buildings are being neglected/falling into a state of disrepair. We need to institute new tenant protections to protect constituents and ensure that the homes that people have lived in for so long are maintained. To help tenants that have been harassed, I have partnered with organizations to provide access to free legal services.

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. I believe that housing as been controlled more by market forces than by the need to provide folks with actual homes for survival. The commoditization of housing has led market forces that, in some cases, would rather have people go without adequate housing for the profit of those owning properties. We need to remove housing as a commodity, as a means to ensuring that all people can get access to the housing that they need.

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?  Good Cause.

Do you agree that all evictions are bad?  Yes

Why or why not?  I believe that evictions are policy failures. I believe that an eviction is the derivative of a long line of policy failures or the absence of government relief or a safety net.

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 believe that RAD has worsened the state of public housing. It has only led to increased eviction rates with minimal improvements to services, all at the hands of private developers. This is not keeping public housing public.

What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?  We need to push for a full court investment in public housing. The federal government needs to reverse its historic disinvestment in public housing. Until the federal government prioritizes public housing, it is the responsibility of state and local governments to provide the critical resources for the authority to operate and make repairs to vital developments. Additionally, we have to provide oversight over the agency’s funds are spent and holding corrupt contractors accountable for misdeeds.

How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  I have used my office as a means to advocate for tenants against landlords that have not sought to make adequate repairs. Additionally, we use our relationships with DHCR and HPD to advocate with agencies that use their authority to hold landlords accountable on specific cases.

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?  I have continued to advocate for Good Cause on issues specific to my district in the Bronx. My district has one of the highest eviction rates in NYS (sadly, in the top 10 Assembly Districts), and I have worked with Bronx legislators to push for the need to have Good Cause enacted into law. I have signed onto the legislation as a cosponsor, numerous letters, and op-eds supporting this pivotal legislation.

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?  Yes – I will support tenant associations and third part housing advocate groups who advocate to ensure that tenants are fully informed about their ability to unite, purchase and lead their buildings.

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?  No