Justin Brannan

Justin Brannan

justinbrannan.com

Twitter: @justinbrannan Instagram: N/a

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)

As a member of the City Council I have consistently fought for more affordable housing units in our city as well as protections for tenants in order to live in a safe and comfortable home as is their right. I will continue to push to protect tenants and fight against bad landlords, and will push the incoming administration to be much more aggressive in order to build the necessary amount of affordable housing units.

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? Yes

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)

The most pressing issue is the lack of affordable housing units, it is why we’re in the middle of a crippling housing crisis which has caused rents and homelessness to skyrocket. We have to create more affordable housing units whichever way possible, that includes demanding much more from the private sector and for the city itself to build thousands of affordable units. The Mayor’s MIH was a great ambitious start, but it’s also completely inadequate and we have to amend it to demand much more from the private sector in terms of affordable housing units. Likewise, we have to utilize city owned land to create developments which are 100% affordable housing, this will need the state, federal, and city governments working together but I believe that we can and must get this done in order to meet the needs of the moment.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  The most pressing issue is the lack of affordable housing units, it is why we’re in the middle of a crippling housing crisis which has caused rents and homelessness to skyrocket. We have to create more affordable housing units whichever way possible, that includes demanding much more from the private sector and for the city itself to build thousands of affordable units. The Mayor’s MIH was a great ambitious start, but it’s also completely inadequate and we have to amend it to demand much more from the private sector in terms of affordable housing units. Likewise, we have to utilize city owned land to create developments which are 100% affordable housing, this will need the state, federal, and city governments working together but I believe that we can and must get this done in order to meet the needs of the moment.

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?  No

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?

Funding, officials from all levels of government have to stop shifting blame and responsibility and get to work to fix NYCHA. We need the federal, state and city governments to work together on a plan in order to fully fund NYCHA, not just for overdue repairs but to also earmark funding for future improvements. NYCHA is a disaster, it’s everything public housing shouldn’t be, and the government instead of rising to the issue and doing something about it has consistently ignored the issues.

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? No

19. What standards would a rezoning need to meet for you to support it? (500 characters)

A project will have to have substantial added benefits to the community, whether it be more housing units, or much needed commercial benefits for the community. Along with benefits for the community, a project would need to have the community’s approval before I would support a rezoning, and lastly the project would have to be built by union labor.

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

I believe giving local community boards a say on development and zoning would be beneficial for the community to have a greater say on the approval of a project. If the community board, which is made up of members of the community don’t approve then the project would be unable to move forward. It’s also spreading out power, rather than consolidating it, which would be best.

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 35% 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)

Our district was down zoned about 10 years ago and there is not a lot of open land for development. I was able to landmark the Angel Guardian Home which is on the border of my district. This project is going to create two new schools as well as some housing.

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 use my office to put public pressure on landlords, either by rallying outside of bad landlords building complexes or through public letters and other forms of outward public pressure. Likewise I will ensure that my office continues to be a resource for the community so that they can come and have access to city services to help protect them from 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?No

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 support the creation of homeless shelters in my district that prioritize spots for displaced residents and families of the district. The ultimate goal should be to keep people in their communities.

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 like to work with the new Mayor in order to ensure that appointments to the RGB are tenant friendly, as well as work with community groups, tenants, activists, and other like minded elected officials to put the necessary pressure on the RGB to do the right thing. Whether it is through rallying, publishing op eds, writing letters of support and anything else that would be helpful.

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