Juan Ardila

Juan Ardila

www.juanforthepeople.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanardilanyc Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juanardila_nyc/

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 currently work for a legal service nonprofit that supports New Yorkers with legal representation and access to benefits, including housing support. I also supported access to legal avenues in housing to people throughout the district that faced housing insecurity. Lastly, I volunteered alongside a local Church in Maspeth to provide food to our food-insecure neighbors.

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? 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?  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)

Reducing the net-effective cost of rent and housing the homeless and— we must remember that many of housing-insecure neighbors are working full time, yet unable to afford rents in safe and transit-dense areas. The current rates of eviction throughout the city are a pressing issue, as evictions are front-facing due to the lack of affordable housing options for New Yorkers. In District 30, where we have no public housing and many historically-zoned 1 and 2 family houses, we will have to find creative ways to expand housing without increasing the rents. This is why I’m advocating for the legalization of ADU’s, which will provide safe and affordable new units for tenants, an additional revenue source for our small homeowners, and create union construction jobs for the district that won’t destroy the fiber of the community.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  Reducing the net-effective cost of rent and housing the homeless and— we must remember that many of housing-insecure neighbors are working full time, yet unable to afford rents in safe and transit-dense areas. The current rates of eviction throughout the city are a pressing issue, as evictions are front-facing due to the lack of affordable housing options for New Yorkers. In District 30, where we have no public housing and many historically-zoned 1 and 2 family houses, we will have to find creative ways to expand housing without increasing the rents. This is why I’m advocating for the legalization of ADU’s, which will provide safe and affordable new units for tenants, an additional revenue source for our small homeowners, and create union construction jobs for the district that won’t destroy the fiber of the community.

9a. What would you do as an elected representative to move that vision forward? (500 characters)

Maybe

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?

We need to fully fund them and keep them 100% permanently affordable. Whether that means constructing new buildings or funding the repairs, how the city uses its budget is a matter of priorities, and at this moment, housing must be a priority.

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)

I believe with any rezoning the city must negotiate from a position of strength. We’ve given into the whims of developers instead of leaning into the immense value and profit NYC land represents. Therefore, any upzoning or rezoning efforts must start with what the community and city needs, and those requirements must be met to move forward.any rezoning should have a study on racial and poverty impact for that given community to ensure that displacement will not occur to the most vulnerable.

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

I still believe we must engage the immediate communities – what is best for the Rockaways is not best for Long Island City – but we also can’t allow for undemocratically elected Community Boards to dictate our housing strategies. A combination of community involvement, along with racial and ecological impact studies, and local vacancy rates should inform our development decisions.

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  50%

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 Glendale homeless shelter would be the biggest fight in the district when it comes to land use. I respectfully am in opposition of the shelter.I fully believe in a Housing First Model, which prioritizes providing permanent housing to those facing homlessness. Unfortunately, the shelter is in a transit-starved region that will make employment transition that much harder. I would support more public housing and a transition from the shelter model to the Housing First Model.

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)

Any landlord getting subsidies for providing low or rent stabilized units must show proof of upkeep to continue receiving benefits. For privately owned buildings the fines must be onerous enough to dissuade landlords from refusing to make repairs. The wellbeing of small homeowners is intrinsically tied to tenants, so helping owners of buildings with 6 or fewer units navigate the city’s bureaucracy  must also be a focus if we want to make sure those costs don’t get applied to rents.

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 respectfully don’t believe the shelter model is the correct solution, and instead we should take a Housing First Model which has reduced homeless by almost 100%. The district is a transit desert, which makes obtaining social services or employment opportunities extremly challenging. I believe permanent public or deeply affordable housing is the solution, especially since my district lacks any public housing. However, if our only option is a shelter, I would insist it is near good transit.

32. Do you agree that all evictions are bad? Yes

32a. If no, why not? Under no circumstance would I ever constitute an eviction to be a “good” thing, especially in a pandemic. We need a system that supports our small homeowners as well as our tenants who are at risk of foreclosures and evictions. Both tenants and small homeowners have been hit during the pandemic, and there has been a lack of clarity and security in this issue. Keeping people in their homes is morally and fundemanetlly essential to human rights.

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)
These programs were implemented with the intent of keeping rents at or below the average price for the neighborhood, but programs like 421a and other subsidized rezonings for developers, the result has been an increase in AMIs regardless of the neighborhood. Therefore, as a Council, we must work to influence the board to reduce rent for stabilized units to meet the *actual* AMI for the neighborhoods. We must also work with our congressional leaders to change how our AMI is calculated in NYC.

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