Marni Halasa

Marni Halasa

www.marniforcitycouncil.com

Twitter: @marni4council Instagram:

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)

For several years I organized the NYCHA Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea public housing tenants against the privatization and demolition of public housing. We were successful in stopping the demolition of 2 Fulton Houses buildings, where could have become a dangerous city-wide precedent. I have also organized protests to house the homeless, spoken at racist rezoning rallies, stood up for the rights of rent-stabilized tenants, and have spoken at Met Council Cancel Rent protests.

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)

The most pressing housing issues include our horrendous homelessness crisis (over 90K), the impending eviction crisis (hundreds of thousands are behind on rent), rent burdened (households paying 30-50% and more of their incomes on rent), lack of genuine community affordable housing, and the privatization of NYCHA, last bastion of deeply affordable housing. The land use process has facilitated record displacement and decreased the net number of rent stabilized apartments overall. The city agencies involved in land use just rubber stamp rezonings. I pledge to propose a moratorium in all rezonings in NYC. But I also believe the community needs final say in development, and development must be community, not developer, driven. We need to get money out of politics (w/Democracy Vouchers), or else rezonings will continue to be used to gentrify our city, pushing out the majority of New Yorkers from their homes, killing NYC’s diversity, culture and vibrancy that makes NYC the gem that it is.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  The most pressing housing issues include our horrendous homelessness crisis (over 90K), the impending eviction crisis (hundreds of thousands are behind on rent), rent burdened (households paying 30-50% and more of their incomes on rent), lack of genuine community affordable housing, and the privatization of NYCHA, last bastion of deeply affordable housing. The land use process has facilitated record displacement and decreased the net number of rent stabilized apartments overall. The city agencies involved in land use just rubber stamp rezonings. I pledge to propose a moratorium in all rezonings in NYC. But I also believe the community needs final say in development, and development must be community, not developer, driven. We need to get money out of politics (w/Democracy Vouchers), or else rezonings will continue to be used to gentrify our city, pushing out the majority of New Yorkers from their homes, killing NYC’s diversity, culture and vibrancy that makes NYC the gem that it is.

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 need to fully-fund NYCHA. Nydia Velasquez has a bill to fund public housing nationally with $70 Billion, of which $32 Billion is for NYCHA. We need to fix NYCHA completely and absolutely not put it into hands of private developers or else it will be end of public housing as we know it. But NYS could also do more, could put a 1% tax on corporations’ corporate income taxes, repeal the Stock Transfer Tax, a Data Tax on Google/Facebook etc. for using our public info to advertise, millionaires tax

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 plan to pass a resolution to put a moratorium on all rezonings in New York City, especially when NYC is recovering from pandemic, and in a housing and homelessness crises. We need to use other vehicles to build genuinely affordable housing other than using developers, often foreign landlords, who only want to build luxury housing using rezoning with MIH. With public health safety as a priority, we need to ensure that all New Yorkers are housed, to stop the spread, and stop displacement.

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

All members of the community should get a notice, email or letter, even phone calls to explain what a rezoning is, it’s effect, the process of the community involvement and dates of meetings.  People who live in the community should be encouraged to give feedback and meetings held should be convenient for working families with children. Information should be provided in different languages. Community board and residents should have veto power and final say over any rezoning proposed.

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 30% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  70%

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 important is my advocacy vs RAD for the 6K public housing residents in District 3. Were we not able to stop the demolition of 2 NYCHA Fulton Houses buildings, that would have set a very dangerous precedent for tenants city-wide. It’s very distressing to me what these POC must endure: retaliation from TA President Acevedo for organizing, increased rents when they live on fixed incomes, no help from D3 elected officials, a working group operating in secret and media that ignores them.

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)

Propose legislation to take bldg away if Landlord guilty of harassment. Plus cut subsidies from landlords found guilty of tenant harassment and for tenants to have a portion of their rent to be forgiven for each month if repairs are not made. Expand the Right To Counsel and fund this so more lawyers can be hired. Create a D3 Ombudsman to focus on worst landlords. Write letters on behalf of tenants (to their LLs) outlining tenant rights to repairs. Create worst LL list, mail to all D3 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)

I would build permanent housing with supportive services for the homeless, not shelters, that are expensive and not solve the crisis. People need safe, permanent housing that brings them stability. I believe such housing w/supportive services for homeless individuals and families to receive psychiatric treatment, healthcare services, job training, education, daily living skills and other programmatic services as needed is the answer. I believe in the worth and dignity of human beings.

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 lobby to have as many tenant activists added to RGB and take the mayor out of these decisions. I do not have a position yet on who should choose the RGB members. I am disappointed with the Public Advocate since he has not come out vs RAD since it is an eviction machine for NYCHA tenants. I think a campaign that brings attention that rents must be lowered, and that MCI increases, apt improvements and pref rent leases as major tools to increase rents, could help change public opinion.

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