Twitter: @jennifergutierreznyc Instagram: @jennifergutierreznyc
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 have helped to organize tenant associations for tenants in rent stabilized housing and section voucher holders. I have met with tenants experiencing harassment, lack of repairs , or with the threat of having ICE called on them and connected them with legal representation. I have stood alongside neighbors at rallies and demonstrations demanding dignified housing, maintenance and repairs, resisting eviction, and to organize against warehousing apartments.
3. What type of housing do you currently live in?
Unregulated 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)
My district has experienced immense displacement and the reality that all the housing that has been going for the last two decades, is not for them. There is no housing justice. The most pressing issue that I think the City Council can address is ensure that folks can stay in the homes they’re in now. We need to ensure that every single rent stabilized unit remains protected and this means expanding Right to Counsel and funding more legal providers to hire tenant organizers. We need new affordable units to alleviate overcrowding and house New Yorkers. I want to invest more in community land trusts and nonprofit developers. It is my belief that we need to revisit the MIH policy to secure more affordable housing out of new development projects. I would also advocate for the Federal government to re engage with the City to support the development of new public housing.
9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified? My district has experienced immense displacement and the reality that all the housing that has been going for the last two decades, is not for them. There is no housing justice. The most pressing issue that I think the City Council can address is ensure that folks can stay in the homes they’re in now. We need to ensure that every single rent stabilized unit remains protected and this means expanding Right to Counsel and funding more legal providers to hire tenant organizers. We need new affordable units to alleviate overcrowding and house New Yorkers. I want to invest more in community land trusts and nonprofit developers. It is my belief that we need to revisit the MIH policy to secure more affordable housing out of new development projects. I would also advocate for the Federal government to re engage with the City to support the development of new public housing.
9a. What would you do as an elected representative to move that vision forward? (500 characters)
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?
The solution is not in privatization. The decades of disinvestment of NYCHA are criminal. We need a plan to address the capital needs from the boilers to the roof in every development. No child should be living with lead or mold, and no family should be forced to wait years for repairs. I will make sure that the NYC Budget increases their funding for NYCHA and will work with colleagues at the state and federal levels to do the same.
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)
It would have to have a high percentage of deeply affordable housing that is targeted to the income of the neighborhood. A rezoning should reflect the principles of that community and so there should be significant engagement with that community early. A rezoning application would have to prove that it would not contribute to further segregation of housing and the local school district and investments in public transportation, small businesses and local housing advocacy organization.
20. What reforms to zoning would you propose to increase community input into development? (500 characters)
The developer needs to engage with that community long before their application is even in to make their application reflect the needs of that community. There would have to be a minimum number of meetings held in languages spoken in that community and proof that community members have been informed.
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 60% 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)
The Bushwick Community Plan (BCP) is an effort by Bushwick residents along with the support from the City to define what they want to see in Bushwick. The plan took six years, and it highlighted opportunities for growth, improvement of open spaces, support for economic development and promoted preservation by landmarking. The community based plan had broad support but was ultimately opposed by the Administration. I supported the community based plan.
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 work with tenants to help build tenant associations and connect them with support through local housing advocacy and legal groups. I would use every tool in my capacity as a Council Member to legislate stronger protections for tenants, as well as work with advocates to expose bad landlords.
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 don’t think this CIty has been equitable in their distribution of homeless shelters. In the last eight years there have been five new shelters in District 34. All of this said, I would not oppose a new homeless shelter- our housing crisis has only been exacerbated since the pandemic last year and unhoused New Yorkers should not be penalized for the complete disinvestment from permanent affordable housing by our Administration.
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 work with housing advocates on a strategy that incorporates policy and media to influence board members to lower the rent for stabilized tenants. We must go through lengths to ensure that we keep tenants where they are.
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