Nikki Lucas

Nikki Lucas

https://electnikkilucas.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/electnikkilucas Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/electnikkilucas/

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 co founded the Coalition to Save NYCHA, which would protect public housing from being taken over by private developers. I have been at multiple rallies to fight against privatization.I have a weekly livestream show titled, VOICES of East New York, and we discuss housing issues regularly.  I advocate regularly for seniors and disabled community members  who face eviction and unsafe conditions.

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 issue is the privatization of NYCHA, which is New York City’s most valuable low income housing asset. To put low income public housing in the hands of private developers should be a crime. NYCHA should be renovated through the Green New Deal, while giving tenants a say in the management. I would also advocate for the basement  apartment program, which would serve two purposes. This program would open the door to more affordable housing, while assisting landlords with the ability to keep their homes out of foreclosure with the additional rent.  The landlord would agree to keep their rents at an affordable rate, based on what’s affordable for the neighborhood.  My district has a high foreclosure and high homeless rate.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  The most pressing issue is the privatization of NYCHA, which is New York City’s most valuable low income housing asset. To put low income public housing in the hands of private developers should be a crime. NYCHA should be renovated through the Green New Deal, while giving tenants a say in the management. I would also advocate for the basement  apartment program, which would serve two purposes. This program would open the door to more affordable housing, while assisting landlords with the ability to keep their homes out of foreclosure with the additional rent.  The landlord would agree to keep their rents at an affordable rate, based on what’s affordable for the neighborhood.  My district has a high foreclosure and high homeless rate.

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?

First we must immediately get rid of RAD and the Blueprint Plan, which are both designed to allow for neglect of NYCHA, in order for the plans to go through.  Secondly, we need to prioritize public housing on all levels of government and reallocate funds from city, state and federal budgets to go directly into NYCHA. New York City is a rich city. We need to increase the taxes to the wealthy.

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)

Rezoning must include equity on all levels, from development, contracts, jobs, rental rates and the inclusion of a green plan. Community Boards must have a higher level of input beyond that of a simple advisory role.  I would advocate for Community Boards to have the power to stop rezoning if they deem it will impact their community negatively. Additionally the project must be evaluated every quarter during the construction phase as well as post-construction, with fines levied for not adhering.

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

The Community Boards would have the ability to stop rezoning in their neighborhood if they feel it will negatively impact their community. All zonings would have to go through the community board, and there must be guaranteed checks of equity at every turn. Every project that requires zoning issues must include a plan for clean green energy.

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 50% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  50%

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

East New York was rezoned and I was against it because there were no guarantees for equity on anything, from jobs, to housing, to contracts. The rezoning went through and the community is not seeing any equity on any level.

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 believe that instead of providing tax breaks for large developers, we should instead create an effective Landlord / Tenant Commission to ensure that landlords are keeping their buildings safe and responding quickly to repairs. Small landlords that adhere to keeping their buildings safe, and rents affordable would receive tax incentives, but those who do not adhere to the protocols would receive hefty fines.

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? Yes

31a. Why or why not?  (500 characters)

I would oppose more homeless shelters being built because we could use those funds to create permanent housing. Why build a homeless shelter when you can build permanent housing that would cost less to house people than shelters.  We could also use those funds to help renovated NYCHA properties, one at a time, if necessary.

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 tenant advocacy groups to provide numbers and data to show that the cost of living in New York City is one of highest in the world, and that there is a real need to lower rents. The Board also needs to take into consideration the number of people in New York City who are going hungry as a result of paying upwards of 40-50% of their income on rent.

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