Governor Jumaane D Williams


Social media:  

  1. What type of housing do you currently live in?
    Unregulated Rental Apt
  2. Are you, or have you ever been, a landlord?
    1. If yes, where & how many apts. do/did you own?
      2 apartments in Brooklyn.
  3. Does your campaign accept contributions from real estate developers (including related individuals), corporate lobbyists, organizations that participate in the carceral system, and/or landlords?
  4. Have you ever worked in, or had another affiliation with, the Real Estate industry? No
  5. Have any of your campaign or advisory staff held a position as a corporate lobbyist or an executive role with the Real Estate industry?
    1. If so, how can we be assured you will have tenants’ interests in mind?  (250 characters) 

Values and Vision

  • Do you believe housing is a human right?
    • If so, what does that mean to you?   (500 characters)      
      Housing is a human right, and we have a moral obligation to make that right a reality. And let’s be clear: it is the government’s responsibility to ensure safety and shelter, and to make housing accessible for New Yorkers in need. It’s why I have releasing a full housing agenda as the first pillar of my campaign platform to address the immediate challenges facing New York families and to put forward a vision for our state’s future. It’s time to renew New York.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    I started as a tenant organizer and then went on to be Executive Director of New York State Tenant’s and Neighbors. I was also chair of the NYC Council Housing committee, where I prime or cosponsored many tenant protection bills, including regulating buy out offers, increasing penalties for tenant harassment, and more.
  • What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a state representative?  (1000 characters)
    There is a lack of income targeted housing, and all levels of government have failed. There is also a crisis in the quality of income targeted housing, including public housing across the state. The recently adopted budget does nothing to solve this crisis, contrary to the rhetoric by those in charge. There is also a related homelessness crisis, which is sometimes discussed separately.
  • New York York needs to build and preserve one million affordable housing units across the state to solve our housing crisis, and I propose that it begins with a wholly new approach to housing at Empire State Development and New York State Urban Development Corporation. Moderate income households, paying 30% of their income in rent, will be able to cross-subsidize lower rents paid by lower income families. Any gap in funding can be made up by the State through both new and existing subsidy programs.
  • We must pass Good Cause and a progressive property tax system where the rich pay fair share.
  • Have you or anyone close to you (relation, friend, etc) been evicted or been threatened with eviction?
  • Have you ever had to fight a landlord for repairs or faced harassment?
  • Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?
    • Please explain your answer (500 characters)       
      Housing for the social good is the way forward. This is the way to ensure that our public land and our housing stock are controlled by us: the public. Through an up and down reboot of Empire State Development, we can ensure that public land is used for public benefit and in the ways that make sense for our communities. As governor, I would put an end to the sale of public land to private for-profit actors and work directly with residents and communities to preserve public land for affordable housing and sustainable and equitable purposes.
  • Do you believe in publicly owned and controlled housing?
  • What is one rent and/or eviction protection you would enact if you had the opportunity?   (500 characters)
    Absolutely Good Cause to prevent draconian rent increases and to prevent people from losing their homes.
  • Do you agree that all evictions are bad?
    • If no, why not?   (500 characters)
  • Do you support the concept of universal rent control?

Overview on Housing

  1. Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and other privatization schemes?
    1. Please explain why or why not (250 characters)
      Resident have already complained about repair quality and even access to someone (either NYCHA or private management) to lodge repairs. The federal, state and local governments must prioritize reversing the decades long disinvestment.
  2. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    As mentioned before, we need all levels of government to finally allocate money needed, and this can in part be achieve with fairness fees for the wealthiest New Yorkers.
  3. Do you support setting aside 15% of all units created in new state-subsidized affordable housing projects for homeless families and individuals?
  4. How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  (500 characters)
    My administration will partner with nonprofits and qualified housing operators to ensure that our public land produces housing that is permanently affordable and used for the social good. Housing would be available to all people at a range of income levels. Moderate income households, paying 30% of their income in rent, will be able to cross-subsidize lower rents paid by lower income families. Any gap in funding can be made up by the State.
  5. Do you support regulating the 300,000 deregulated rent-stabilized apartments?
  6. Will you support increased funding and oversight hearings of DHCR’s Office of Rent Administration to ensure timely responses?
  7. How will you ensure people who owe back rent due to COVID are not evicted and do not continue to owe money?   (500 characters)
    They experienced this crisis through no fault of their own. My office released a report,” COVID-19 Pandemic: Preliminary Recovery and Response,” w/ many recommendations, including passing a bill to cancel rent for tenants across the state who are facing financial hardship because of the coronavirus and in turn allow landlords to write off that amount from the mortgages they owe.
  8. Would you support financial and criminal penalties against landlords and brokers that deny a prospective tenant housing based on using a tenant blacklist?

Current Bills and Campaigns

  • Do you support Good Cause Eviction Protections?
  • If Good Cause is not passed this session, what will you do to ensure it gets passed in 2023?  (500 characters)
    It will be a top priority.
  • Will you support ending MCIs?
  • Will you commit to fully funding the Housing Access Voucher Program?
  • Do you support the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)?
  • How will you support tenants in your district opting into TOPA?  (500 characters)
    I am running for Governor, so I support the legislation and will prioritize.
  • Do you support the move to legalize basement apartments and ADUs?
  • Do you support tenants’ right to collective bargaining?
  • Do you support 421a or Gov Hochul’s proposed 485w?
  • Do you support fully funding the Excluded Workers fund?
  • Do you support the “Excluded No More” bill?
  • Are you committed to making sure every tenant in the state has free access to counsel in Housing Court?
  • Will you commit to fully funding statewide Right to Counsel in 2023’s budget?