Harriet Hines

Harriet Hines

www.Hines2021.com

Twitter:  Instagram: @HHines2021

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)

My interest in Housing Justice began early, and while in High School.  I enrolled in an internship program through City-as-Kids and was placed on an assignment at HPD.  I worked under two paralegals that trained me on  how to file and expedite legal paperwork that served to indict the well known “Dracula Landlord” in 1989.  The Dracula Landlord had his tenants living in inhumane conditions in buildings with violations.  He affected the lives of many and became a spectacle in NYC.

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? No

4a. If yes, where & how many apts. did you own? 0

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?  Yes

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)

I worked in the Real Estate Industry as a Licensed Real Estate Agent when I received my license.  I never worked in a corporate or executive capacity.  I participated with Save Cortelyou to oppose the Upzoning at 1620 Cortelyou Road in District 40.

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 issue of Predatory Development and Affordable Housing concerns me most.in our District.  To alleviate the crisis of Affordable Housing   we need to eradicate Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH).  It is through MIH that they can make the argument for Affordable Housing.  These massive towers are lacking adequate government subsidies to make them truly affordable.  We need to press the federal government for an accurate Area Median Income (AMI).  We need a community based AMI, one that reflects the community’s true income.

Predatory Development and the risk of overpricing can be controlled through Community Land Trusts (CLT’s).  If the community owns the land that is developed on, they can control the price of sale and reject private developers that can overprice the community and exploit them for capital gain.  The community has the opportunity to purchase the property and the land.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified? 

The issue of Predatory Development and Affordable Housing concerns me most.in our District.  To alleviate the crisis of Affordable Housing   we need to eradicate Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH).  It is through MIH that they can make the argument for Affordable Housing.  These massive towers are lacking adequate government subsidies to make them truly affordable.  We need to press the federal government for an accurate Area Median Income (AMI).  We need a community based AMI, one that reflects the community’s true income.

Predatory Development and the risk of overpricing can be controlled through Community Land Trusts (CLT’s).  If the community owns the land that is developed on, they can control the price of sale and reject private developers that can overprice the community and exploit them for capital gain.  The community has the opportunity to purchase the property and the land.

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?

Propose legislation asking the Mayor to reach out to the federal government to give more funding to NYXHA.  The funding can be used to formulate a new project called Displacement and Renovation Project (DARP).  To address the neglect and disrepair of NYCHA, tenants must be displaced to do a complete gut and renovation.  NYCHA can set a comfortable pace to fulfill this task.  Tenants can temporarily be placed in new vacant developments with subsidies given to the landlords to help offset costs.

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)

The decision to rezone would have to have community involvement.  Borough Presidents and Community Boards often make decisions on these matters without community input.  Developers put in requests for projects without details because they are not required to.  This process does not provide the community with enough information to give input  For this reason I would push to include the requirement that the proposal includes details of the project.

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

Mandatory Inclusion Housing (MIH) should not be considered in areas that it is not mandatory and there should be no proposal that can reverse it.  If Affordable Housing is a community need then it should be allowed in areas where MIH is allowed.

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 25% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  25%

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

As a part of the Save Cortelyou project we fought to end the upzoning of Cortelyou Road.

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? No

27. How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  (500 characters)

I would legislate to pass a bill that would make landlords responsible for making hazardous repairs within thirty (30) days and non-hazardous repairs within sixty (60) days.  For hazardous repairs, should the landlord be unable to make the repairs within thirty (0) days, then they will be responsible for relocating the tenants to accommodations that does not compromise their quality of life and household composition.

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? Yes

31a. Why or why not?  (500 characters)

I oppose homeless shelters being built in my district if the occupants are not screened properly.  Not every homeless person fits the stigma of what the homeless are perceived to be.  Some are homeless due to unfortunate circumstances, and are not substance abusers.  If the occupants are substance abusers they need to be housed in treatment facilities.  We have homeless shelters on East 1st Street dilled with substance abusers that compromise the quality of life for district residents.

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

32a. If no, why not? Some people need to be evicted if they prevent landlords and other tenants from living comfortably in their homes.  If  tenant compromises the quality of life of a landlord or tenant and destroys the premises, these instances present grounds for a good eviction.

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)?  No

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)
Most rent stabilized tenants are elderly who have lived in their apartments for decades.  Once the primary tenant (elderly) dies and the remaining family members on the lease  take occupancy, then the rent should be renegotiated and be increased by an extra 5%.  However, The rent should still be less than market value.

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? No