Michael Beltzer

Michael Beltzer

betlzernyc.com

Twitter: twitter.com/BeltzerNYC Instagram: instagram.com/BeltzerNYC

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 made sure to always stay informed on housing issues and take action when I can for housing justice. I have been to many actions, marches, rallies and lobbies for housing justice. I have canvassed for the Housing Justice for All bills, cancel rent and right to counsel and also share information on my social media channels. I helped the tenants of Park Lane when their building was coming out of Mitchell-Lama, which they wanted to stay in.

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)

The fact that housing is not a right is the most pressing issue, that we don’t have universal rent control and all homeless housed are pressing housing issues . We need to decommodify housing and greatly expand our social housing. As a Councilmember I will fight to back Community Land Trusts and Land Banks and will comprehensively plan my community to build social and senior housing, limited equity coops, community land trusts and rent to own options.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  The fact that housing is not a right is the most pressing issue, that we don’t have universal rent control and all homeless housed are pressing housing issues . We need to decommodify housing and greatly expand our social housing. As a Councilmember I will fight to back Community Land Trusts and Land Banks and will comprehensively plan my community to build social and senior housing, limited equity coops, community land trusts and rent to own options.

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 extract value for NYCHA when we rezone land in the neighboring communities. This can be built into community based plans on the community district level. We also need to tax the rich to bring in direct investment from the state government for NYCHA. We could also look at converting NYCHA developments into Community Land Trusts so that any wealth generated by new development goes to the residents.

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 there should be a moratorium on all spot rezonings and each community district create a comprehensive community based plan. The principles they should embody would to build enough supportive housing to house their homeless, to include 100% affordable housing on all upzonings, utilize union labor and gain real capital improvements.

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

We need to have community boards be elected and have real power over the development process. I would also have the borough presidents role be higher than advisory and we should change the composition of the planning commission to remove mayoral control.

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)

There has not be a major fight in the district, just the ups and down of dealing with spot rezonings. They have for the most part been “affordable” but built and staffed non-union, with no consideration for rent to own or limited equity co-ops. This approach has also led to big lots sitting vacant. There is a potential rezoning that will build senior housing, limited-equity coops and rentals so I think its a sign we can do even more with a comprehensive plan.

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 follow up on each 311 complaint filed. I will alert the media and highlight the issues. I would call, write and email management until I feel they are responsive and if not connect the tenants to counsel and organizations like Met Council.

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)

Housing is a human right and that means the city needs to do more to house homeless people in the city. I have no issue having homeless shelters in my district and every district needs to house their 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 work with other members of the city council to create more public pressure about lowering rents in NYC. I would look for guidance from Met Council on further action to take and I would be willing to participate in any action including being arrested.

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