Maria Ordoñez

Maria Ordoñez

www.mariaordonez.nyc

Twitter: @MariaOrdonezNYC Instagram: www.instagram.com/mariaordoneznyc/

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 done bilingual organizing in my building to help tenants understand their rights and for needed repairs, advocated for the eviction moratorium and canceling rent, and have stood against Columbia University’s Manhattanville expansion that’s caused gentrification in West Harlem. I was also a lead organizer with the Bernie 2020 movement advocating for investing trillions into permanently affordable housing and billions in repairing and decarbonizing public housing.

3. What type of housing do you currently live in?              

Regulated 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)

We must ensure that all new developments in our communities create permanently affordable housing and we need to address repair and privatization concerns in NYCHA. As a City Council Member I will fight gentrification and corporate expansion, as we have seen through the Columbia University expansion in West Harlem. I will address homelessness by implementing permanently affordable housing, a jobs guarantee, and an increased minimum wage. I will also introduce or co-legislate a Green New Deal for NYCHA that will fight against the privatization of NYCHA, while addressing the urgent repairs and lack of heat and hot water through a jobs program for tenants. Additionally, I will work with state and federal officials to implement universal rent control, stop all evictions, and impose taxes on wealthy landowners, private developers, and vacant units.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  We must ensure that all new developments in our communities create permanently affordable housing and we need to address repair and privatization concerns in NYCHA. As a City Council Member I will fight gentrification and corporate expansion, as we have seen through the Columbia University expansion in West Harlem. I will address homelessness by implementing permanently affordable housing, a jobs guarantee, and an increased minimum wage. I will also introduce or co-legislate a Green New Deal for NYCHA that will fight against the privatization of NYCHA, while addressing the urgent repairs and lack of heat and hot water through a jobs program for tenants. Additionally, I will work with state and federal officials to implement universal rent control, stop all evictions, and impose taxes on wealthy landowners, private developers, and vacant units.

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?

We must fight for a Green New Deal for NYCHA to address neglected repairs by providing tenants with high quality, unionized jobs in making these repairs. We must fully fund this just transition to equitable homes for NYCHA residents through funding from the city by reallocating at least $2 billion from the NYPD, from the state through legislation to tax the rich, impose a pied a terre tax, and a stock transfer tax, and from federal legislation to invest in public housing.

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)

All rezoning must provide mandatory affordability requirements for any development to ensure that residents will still be able to have access to housing in their community. We must also ensure that we are supporting existing small businesses and schools in the area, instead of allowing for this process of gentrification to push out residents, locally owned businesses, and public education.

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

We need to hold roundtable discussions with the community as a mandatory part of our zoning processes to ensure that we understand the perspective of our community over that of people looking to make a buck. In these conversations, longtime residents, working class residents, and residents of color must be centered. We must make our Community Boards more accessible, better publicizing meetings and ensuring that these often silenced residents of the district are well represented on the board.

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 100% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  100%

23. What is/has been the most important land use fight in your district and what position did you take on it?  (500 characters)

Columbia University’s Manhattanville expansion is the most important land use fight here and I have advocated for my community as I see neighbors displaced by this. This fight dates back to organizing in the 1960s and continues today. With Columbia YDSA I have organized one of the largest tuition strikes in this country, with one of our demands being to stop the expansion and ensure that Columbia gives back to the people of Harlem, as it promised in its CBA and has failed to follow through.

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)

My office will be an organizing space where tenants can come together and fight for their rights with my support. Together as a people-powered group, along with grassroots groups working to fight for tenants, we will build pressure campaigns: holding rallies, writing letters, flooding offices with calls, and bringing in legal action where needed. Additionally, we will co-legislate with tenants, introducing legislation that protects tenants’ rights to organize a resident council in all buildings.

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 will not oppose homeless shelters being built in my district because I believe that everyone deserves a dignified place to live. If we have vacant space or apartments, then that means we have space to house people, especially those facing housing insecurity. On top of this, we must tax vacant apartments, incentivizing landlords to lower rents, and use this money to support homeless shelters and provide housing for our unhoused neighbors.

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)
We must fight for a Green New Deal for NYCHA to address neglected repairs by providing tenants with high quality, unionized jobs in making these repairs. We must fully fund this just transition to equitable homes for NYCHA residents through funding from the city by reallocating at least $2 billion from the NYPD, from the state through legislation to tax the rich, impose a pied a terre tax, and a stock transfer tax, and from federal legislation to invest in public housing.

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