Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams

https://www.elizabethadams.nyc/

Twitter: @elizabadams Instagram: elizabethforbk

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)

Throughout my time in the Council office, I have worked with residential and commercial tenants to fight against landlord harassment and halt eviction, and helped to make sure people knew their rights in staying in their homes. When the pandemic hit, I organized mutual aid efforts to provide groceries and metrocards for neighbors, so that people didn’t have to choose between paying rent or going hungry, and I attended actions and protests to cancel rent and extend the housing moratorium.

3. What type of housing do you currently live in?              

Regulated Rental Apt

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?  No

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)

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)

The two most pressing issues are homelessness and rents that are not truly affordable. The root of these two issues is that, for too long, we have chipped at the edges of a housing market that does not work. Just lowering the rent is not enough. We need to set standards of stabilization, provide support for people to stay in their homes, and create deeply affordable housing.

As a Council Member, I will work to (1) create a social housing agency that will create permanently and deeply affordable housing across the city; (2) raise rental assistance and expand supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness; (3) provide no-cost tenant eviction attorneys and pass the Fair Chance for Housing Act; (4) implement comprehensive planning to take a more just and integrated approach to what community and citywide housing needs are; and (5) invest in the well-being of our communities by studying negative racial impacts, displacements, and resiliency needs.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  The two most pressing issues are homelessness and rents that are not truly affordable. The root of these two issues is that, for too long, we have chipped at the edges of a housing market that does not work. Just lowering the rent is not enough. We need to set standards of stabilization, provide support for people to stay in their homes, and create deeply affordable housing.

As a Council Member, I will work to (1) create a social housing agency that will create permanently and deeply affordable housing across the city; (2) raise rental assistance and expand supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness; (3) provide no-cost tenant eviction attorneys and pass the Fair Chance for Housing Act; (4) implement comprehensive planning to take a more just and integrated approach to what community and citywide housing needs are; and (5) invest in the well-being of our communities by studying negative racial impacts, displacements, and resiliency needs.

9a. What would you do as an elected representative to move that vision forward? (500 characters)

Yes

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?

Funding from the NYPD budget should be redirected to NYCHA’s infrastructure needs. A $1 billion reallocation could fully abate all lead in NYCHA. NYC and NYS have decreased NYCHA investment and the Council must prioritize a significant budget increase. I also stand with advocates in support of Invest In Our NY, which will raise badly needed funds to invest in social services – including public housing. Finally, I will continue to push the federal government to do its job in fully funding NYCHA.

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? Yes

19. What standards would a rezoning need to meet for you to support it? (500 characters)

A rezoning has to truly prioritize affordability, with affordable housing and rent levels that are geared to the income of the neighborhood without further displacing local communities. We also need to enact comprehensive planning, where the community is involved at the outset in planning, not just during ULURP. Rezonings also have to conduct racial and environmental impact studies. The continued lack of resilience planning in zoning along the waterfront is also gravely irresponsible.

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

The 33rd has faced development without infrastructure. Comprehensive planning would create an ongoing community process and allow us to right past wrongs by updating zoning for future projects. I would change DCP’s role to establish an independent planning process, with more diverse community voices at the table, in partnership with comprehensive planning.

We need to replace MIH with actual affordable levels and Community Board leadership should be representative of diverse community priorities.

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 30% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  15%

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

There have been critical fights in the district, including the 2005 rezonings of Downtown Brooklyn and Williamsburg/Greenpoint, which displaced tenants. I worked for the Council Member during the 80 Flatbush rezoning and I opposed it, because it didn’t provide sufficient affordable housing and expanded luxury in Brooklyn.

The Council is currently considering the Gowanus rezoning and my priority is to ensure NYCHA tenants are at the decision making table and provided the investment they’re owed.

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 call and send letters to landlords and assist residents in filing complaints w/ 311 and organizing tenant protests to start. I would also assist tenants in forming a tenants’ union and would push for more liberal use of the emergency repair programs and Alternative Enforcement Program. I would use our legislative authority to increase HPD fines and hold HPD accountable for not conducting sufficient inspections, and I would increase funding for the Mayor’s Tenant Protection Unit.

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)

We have to move towards guaranteeing a right to housing for all New Yorkers and create a housing first approach, instead of it being a last step. I support providing more permanent affordable and supportive housing for unhoused New Yorkers and would prioritize bringing supportive housing into the district.

NYC also has a right to shelter and I would welcome shelters in the district, notably programmatic and service rich shelters, while we work to move off shelters toward permanent housing.

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 would attend RGB meetings and hearings to express my views,and testify at the annual hearing on rent guidelines. I also would work with tenants, press, and organizations on organizing strategy around these meetings to build community power. Overall, I would push for board appointments to be reflective of more tenant interests.

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? Yes