Josue Pierre

Josue Pierre

https://pierre2021.com/

Twitter: @votepierre2021 Instagram: instagram.com/pierre2021

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 marched and organized with Flatbush Tenants Coalition and New York Communities for Change around eviction and other tenant issues. I also took part in the effort to pass “right to counsel” and would like to see it funded citywide.  I traveled to Albany for the 2019 Rent Laws and was arrested alongside other members of the Housing Justice Coalition.  I wrote an op-ed last year calling for the creation of an NYC Tenant Protection Unit to help enforce the new rent laws.

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?  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 was a residential realtor in my 20s, and an Auditor with a focus on REIT. I was a Financial Analyst at the Comptrollers, where my job was to help manage pension money that finance the development and preservation of affordable housing units.

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 most pressing issue we face are the mass evictions which will take place once the moratoriums end. We must extend the moratorium until Albany comes up with some type of relief package for renters.

The 2019 Rent Laws will not be fully effective in communities like mine until we also have enforcement, which is why I am pushing for the creation of a Tenant Protection Unit within HPD, to focus on tenant education, and active oversight of landlords.

Our housing supply is insufficient to meet our growing demands, we need a massive, green new deal affordable housing plan.

NYCHA is in need of major capital improvements. In addition to Federal Funds, the City should consider issuing bonds to get the work done at a faster pace, including upgrades to energy use.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  The most pressing issue we face are the mass evictions which will take place once the moratoriums end. We must extend the moratorium until Albany comes up with some type of relief package for renters.

The 2019 Rent Laws will not be fully effective in communities like mine until we also have enforcement, which is why I am pushing for the creation of a Tenant Protection Unit within HPD, to focus on tenant education, and active oversight of landlords.

Our housing supply is insufficient to meet our growing demands, we need a massive, green new deal affordable housing plan.

NYCHA is in need of major capital improvements. In addition to Federal Funds, the City should consider issuing bonds to get the work done at a faster pace, including upgrades to energy use.

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?

Federal funding to make the needed repairs, but the city can consider issuing bonds to get those repairs going. Additionally, I think we should explore rebuilding some of the complexes to expand housing stock and replace buildings that have outlived their useful life, while also making them more energy efficient and better places to live.

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

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)

If it is government owned land I would want to see 100% affordable with the bulk of the units matching the AMI of the local zip code. For non-government owned land, I would want to see that the developer has looked at programs which would allow for the development of significant numbers of affordable units. Additionally, I do support contextual zoning, racial impacts studies, as well as considering the current capacity of existing mass transportation, school, plumbing and other infrastructure.

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

All community boards should have an urban planner assigned by the city to help educate its members. All Community boards should have a land-use and zoning committee.

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 40% 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 most recent land use fight was the Cortelyou Road rezoning. I opposed it because it will only provide a paltry number of affordable units, is out of context, and will be the beginning of a domino effect of new luxury housing along the commercial strip.

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)

Yes. I know many tenants in our community have no idea where to go when facing harassment and other issues with landlords. We can have intake days in partnership with housing non-profits and my proposed NYC Tenant Protection Unit, to educate tenants and guide them towards right to counsel as well as other resources. As Council member, I would also have my office reach out to the landlord.

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)

Housing is a human right.

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 will advocate for units that were removed from the list to be placed back on the list and ensure that going forward, units are not removed.

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