Lincoln Restler

Lincoln Restler

lincolnforcouncil.com

Twitter: @LincolnRestler Instagram: @LincolnforCityCouncil

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 led efforts to open homeless shelters in neighborhoods that don’t have them, I have attended dozens of rallies for tenant rights, and I have fought for legislation and regulations, like Right for Counsel, to help support tenants. I will do whatever I can to protect and expand the rights of tenants in New York City.

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)

Affordability and homelessness are the major housing issues affecting our neighborhoods. To tackle affordability, I have a plan to Lower NYC Rent that would drive down rents of apartments that have been vacant for extended periods of time. I would work with Senator Salazar and Assembly Member Gallagher who will introduce corresponding legislation at the State level.

On homelessness, I would identify locations in my district appropriate for new shelters, and would encourage my colleagues to do the same. I would also work to increase affordable and supportive housing units to enable homeless NYers to move into permanent housing.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  Affordability and homelessness are the major housing issues affecting our neighborhoods. To tackle affordability, I have a plan to Lower NYC Rent that would drive down rents of apartments that have been vacant for extended periods of time. I would work with Senator Salazar and Assembly Member Gallagher who will introduce corresponding legislation at the State level.

On homelessness, I would identify locations in my district appropriate for new shelters, and would encourage my colleagues to do the same. I would also work to increase affordable and supportive housing units to enable homeless NYers to move into permanent housing.

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?

I would work with my City, State, and Federal colleagues to demand funding for NYCHA to make necessary capital repairs. I am also hugely supportive of a Green New Deal for NYCHA that converts unhealthy, unsafe buildings into modern, energy efficient homes.

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? Depends

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)

A rezoning must require the majority of units to be affordable housing. I will also be considering community benefits where appropriate, including creation of union jobs, transit, open space, grocery stores, public health infrastructure, and other investments.

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

Our land use process is broken and we need to take power away from the executive branch and return it to the community. Developments should be required to assess environmental and racial impacts and we need real community input to inform development. I support moving toward a comprehensive planning process that determines citywide priorities and strives to collaboratively engage communities to meet those collective needs.

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 20% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  10%

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 Williamsburg/Greenpoint and Downtown Brooklyn rezonings. I would have opposed both. The community benefits of both rezonings have not been realized some 15 years later. Each rezoning has generated 80%+ market rate housing and too few of the handful of  affordable units are actually affordable.

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 my colleagues and HPD to encourage landlords to make repairs, and would not hesitate to publicly call on landlords myself to make necessary repairs and end troubling behavior towards tenants. I will work in collaboration with tenant advocacy groups and legal services groups to hold HPD and landlords accountable to get results for tenants.

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)

Homelessness is a crisis in our City and every district must do its part to eliminate it. Ultimately, we want to move New Yorkers towards permanent housing options. I am proud to have helped open many shelters around the City. Opponents of shelters have come to my home and protested me. I will do whatever I can to help house the homeless.

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 testify for reductions for select rent regulated tenants.

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

Lincoln Restler

lincolnforcouncil.com

Twitter: @LincolnRestler Instagram: @LincolnforCityCouncil

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 led efforts to open homeless shelters in neighborhoods that don’t have them, I have attended dozens of rallies for tenant rights, and I have fought for legislation and regulations, like Right for Counsel, to help support tenants. I will do whatever I can to protect and expand the rights of tenants in New York City.

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)

Affordability and homelessness are the major housing issues affecting our neighborhoods. To tackle affordability, I have a plan to Lower NYC Rent that would drive down rents of apartments that have been vacant for extended periods of time. I would work with Senator Salazar and Assembly Member Gallagher who will introduce corresponding legislation at the State level.

On homelessness, I would identify locations in my district appropriate for new shelters, and would encourage my colleagues to do the same. I would also work to increase affordable and supportive housing units to enable homeless NYers to move into permanent housing.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  Affordability and homelessness are the major housing issues affecting our neighborhoods. To tackle affordability, I have a plan to Lower NYC Rent that would drive down rents of apartments that have been vacant for extended periods of time. I would work with Senator Salazar and Assembly Member Gallagher who will introduce corresponding legislation at the State level.

On homelessness, I would identify locations in my district appropriate for new shelters, and would encourage my colleagues to do the same. I would also work to increase affordable and supportive housing units to enable homeless NYers to move into permanent housing.

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?

I would work with my City, State, and Federal colleagues to demand funding for NYCHA to make necessary capital repairs. I am also hugely supportive of a Green New Deal for NYCHA that converts unhealthy, unsafe buildings into modern, energy efficient homes.

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? Depends

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)

A rezoning must require the majority of units to be affordable housing. I will also be considering community benefits where appropriate, including creation of union jobs, transit, open space, grocery stores, public health infrastructure, and other investments.

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

Our land use process is broken and we need to take power away from the executive branch and return it to the community. Developments should be required to assess environmental and racial impacts and we need real community input to inform development. I support moving toward a comprehensive planning process that determines citywide priorities and strives to collaboratively engage communities to meet those collective needs.

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 20% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  10%

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 Williamsburg/Greenpoint and Downtown Brooklyn rezonings. I would have opposed both. The community benefits of both rezonings have not been realized some 15 years later. Each rezoning has generated 80%+ market rate housing and too few of the handful of  affordable units are actually affordable.

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 my colleagues and HPD to encourage landlords to make repairs, and would not hesitate to publicly call on landlords myself to make necessary repairs and end troubling behavior towards tenants. I will work in collaboration with tenant advocacy groups and legal services groups to hold HPD and landlords accountable to get results for tenants.

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)

Homelessness is a crisis in our City and every district must do its part to eliminate it. Ultimately, we want to move New Yorkers towards permanent housing options. I am proud to have helped open many shelters around the City. Opponents of shelters have come to my home and protested me. I will do whatever I can to help house the homeless.

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 testify for reductions for select rent regulated tenants.

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