Jeffrey Omura

Jeffrey Omura

jeffreyomura.com

Twitter: jeffreyomura Instagram: jeffreyomura

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 participate in the West Side Neighborhood Alliance’s monthly meeting and join their calls to action.

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)

Expansion of affordable housing. I support:

-Rezoning the vacant commercial real estate in midtown & FiDi for residential use.

-Streamlining the process for converting basements & attics into rental units and bring more than 200,000 new units online.

-Dedicating City-owned land to a Community Land Trust to build & maintain permanent affordable housing.

Homelessness. I support:

-Housing First policies

-Simplifying process for moving people living on the streets into permanent, supportive housing.

Tenants’ Rights. I support:

-Passing the “Good Cause” eviction bill,

-Repealing vacancy decontrol which is diminishing our city’s affordable housing stock,

-Reinstating home rule in New York City by repealing the regressive Urstadt Law,

-Saving affordable housing units in expiring Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 buildings by putting them under rent stabilization,

-Reforming the Rent Guidelines Board so that it is accountable to tenants.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  Expansion of affordable housing. I support:

-Rezoning the vacant commercial real estate in midtown & FiDi for residential use.

-Streamlining the process for converting basements & attics into rental units and bring more than 200,000 new units online.

-Dedicating City-owned land to a Community Land Trust to build & maintain permanent affordable housing.

Homelessness. I support:

-Housing First policies

-Simplifying process for moving people living on the streets into permanent, supportive housing.

Tenants’ Rights. I support:

-Passing the “Good Cause” eviction bill,

-Repealing vacancy decontrol which is diminishing our city’s affordable housing stock,

-Reinstating home rule in New York City by repealing the regressive Urstadt Law,

-Saving affordable housing units in expiring Mitchell-Lama and Section 8 buildings by putting them under rent stabilization,

-Reforming the Rent Guidelines Board so that it is accountable to tenants.

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?

Provide residents with opportunities and tools to become  true stakeholders in their communities. Personal investment leads to better outcomes.

Resident-led oversight committees provide direction and oversight for spending and repairs.

Empower NYCHA residents to work directly with developers to rebuild developments that include some new market-rate units to fund rehabilitation.as been done successfully with London’s public housing.

14. Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)/ PACT program and other privatization schemes? Depends

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)

Any rezoning request would need to balance affordable to market rate units, provide affordable units within the challenging 60% – 110% AMI. Additionally I will prioritize the use of union labor in both construction and in the jobs that will be created in the development, alignment with climate resiliency design guidelines, and a robust adherence to a revised ULURP process that contemplates better environmental impact study requirements.

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

Ensure that new developments meet the needs of the community and work to expand the ULURP impact study (EIS) contemplate the full and nuanced implications development may have on a community, in terms of transit, housing, health services, climate, and racial impact, requiring more input and greater participation from the community. This will help us create stronger, healthier, and more stable communities.

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 50% 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)

The “Supertalls” violated the rights of District 6 residents. The Extell Dev (W65/66) unlawfully over extended mid building mechanical space with the purpose of building expensive units on high floors. The building at Amsterdam/W 69 cobbled together a 39-sided lot by buying small, undeveloped, neighborhood plots, then using air-rights to construct a 350ft tower.  Neither of these developments meet the affordable housing needs of the community. I stand firmly against both.

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)

The consequences must be substantial to ensure compliance. I support the strengthening and aggressive application of existing law, measures that create a mechanism to provide monetary damages to tenants who are victims of a landlord’s chronic failure to cure, substantial awards to tenants who are able to verify harassment. I will advocate for the removal of the ability to conduct business in New York State, and the possibility of criminal charges for the worst repeat offenders.

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)

Everyone deserves a safe place to live. However, our current temporary shelter system is broken. Shelters are inherently unstable and difficult to qualify for. Too many require those dealing with substance abuse issues to be totally sober or risk getting kicked out. Congregant living is often not a great option for anyone dealing with mental health issues. We need to transition away from the temporary shelter system to a model of permanent supportive housing.

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

32a. If no, why not? Some evictions are for just cause; violence, criminal behavior, and otherwise blatantly breaking the covenants of a duly executed lease.

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)
The RGB assesses the future valuation of units based on expenses and supply/vacancy rates.  Choosing a supply/vacancy rate as a metric is choosing a profit motive over the needs of the humans who live in the units. This approach is manifestly dangerous to New Yorkers. Housing is a human right and as such should not be commodified at the expense of safety. I will advocate for the decommodification of housing and new metrics that balance the concerns between renters and 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