Evie Hantzopoulos

Evie Hantzopoulos

www.electevie.com

Twitter: @evie4us Instagram: @evie4us

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)

I am co-organizing with Justice for All Coalition in  NYCHA, with Astoria Tenant Union against Innovation QNS and protested the Flushing Rezoning and racist rezonings citywide.

I chair CB1 Housing Committee, spearheading a resolution for no public land giveaways; housing built on public land must be 100% affordable; MIH units must at minimum be Option 1 or deeply affordable and calculated with census tract data; more 2/3 bedrooms; a greater percentage of MIH units be built for any upzoning.

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

Own a co-op, condo or private home

4. Are you, or have you ever been, a landlord? Yes

4a. If yes, where & how many apts. did you own? 2

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)

Rampant luxury development and gentrification, NYCHA neglect, homelessness, and skyrocketing rents and home prices threaten housing security. When the eviction moratorium ends, it will be disastrous.

The state must cancel rent but we must fight for housing justice  in the City Council. We must build more supportive housing, use a Housing First model, convert unused hotel space into affordable units, allocate more funds for HPD to enforce landlord fines, create vouchers for undocumented families, and pass Intro 146. I will seek to use eminent domain for transferring the property rights of egregious, repeat landlord offenders into community land trusts or to mutual housing authorities. I’ll commit to stopping RAD, infilling and The Blueprint. MIH has failed to meaningfully provide the deep and permanently affordable housing needed and racial impact studies are critical. I will also push to expand the basement conversion pilot program.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  Rampant luxury development and gentrification, NYCHA neglect, homelessness, and skyrocketing rents and home prices threaten housing security. When the eviction moratorium ends, it will be disastrous.

The state must cancel rent but we must fight for housing justice  in the City Council. We must build more supportive housing, use a Housing First model, convert unused hotel space into affordable units, allocate more funds for HPD to enforce landlord fines, create vouchers for undocumented families, and pass Intro 146. I will seek to use eminent domain for transferring the property rights of egregious, repeat landlord offenders into community land trusts or to mutual housing authorities. I’ll commit to stopping RAD, infilling and The Blueprint. MIH has failed to meaningfully provide the deep and permanently affordable housing needed and racial impact studies are critical. I will also push to expand the basement conversion pilot program.

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?

First, we must replace current offsite management with resident managers. Money for our carceral systems and new jails must be reinvested into NYCHA. Replacing peaker plants with battery storage will cut down on brownouts that cause elevator problems and dangerous conditions due to extreme heat that occur when air conditioners go out. Converting section 9 housing to section 8 per the NYCHA blueprint isn’t the answer.

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? No

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

MIH is a failure but until it’s fixed, no Option 2, only Option 1 or deeply affordable; concrete community concessions, eg free community space; pay for infrastructure needed both in terms of capital and any personnel long term; public space concessions; and union labor. Of course, much depends on size and scale, and whether this is built on public land in which the standard would be 100% truly affordable;  but these are general standards.

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

ULURP must be revised. Currently, land use proposals are determined by developers and City Planning. Neither prioritize the community’s interests. We need community visioning and planning, like I did with the Ravenswood Sanitation Garage, to determine what our zoning and land use should look like and how to begin any development.

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 70% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  30%

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

Astoria Cove was a pivotal land use fight in my district. I wasn’t on the Community Board One’s Land Use Committee (I am now), but I attended each meeting. I demanded a higher percentage of MIH than the 19% being offered, the deeply affordable MIH option, more community concessions, and union labor. I persuaded the committee to vote the original proposal down unanimously.

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)

As stated previously, pushing a “Clean Hands” policy, and enacting legislation allowing the seizure of repeat offenders’ land through eminent domain.

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)

I would not, but I’d rather see supportive housing built.

32. Do you agree that all evictions are bad? No

32a. If no, why not? Generally yes. But there was a case where a tenant in a building I lived in was physically violent to other tenants and had severe mental health issues and needed a more supportive setting. I think there is nuance in cases like this.

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 will work with orgs such as Met Council and CASA on their campaigns in pressuring the RBG to issue a rent rollback. I will also work with organizers from these kinds of orgs and tenants unions to see how I can be most effective in getting rent rollbacks. I will fight to ensure that the mayor puts tenant organizers and tenants on the RGB voting board, not developers or landlords.

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