SD 17 Brooklyn (Borough Park-Midwood)


Blake Morris—Democrat

Incumbent Simcha Felder (Democrat-Republican-Conservative-Independence) did not respond.

Blake Morris—Democrat

What is your position on rent regulation, what work have you done in the past to further that position, and if elected, what would you do in 2019?

My position on rent regulation is that we need to reauthorize the rent laws to provide stronger protections for tenants. I would like to eliminate the vacancy bonus and close the loophole that allows landlords to lure new tenants into their properties by offering a preferential rent. These issues would be my priority when elected, since the rent laws will be up for renewal in 2019.

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the New York City Housing Authority, and how would you address it?

The biggest issue facing NYCHA is that it relies on federal dollars to operate, and those funds have been on the decline for many years. I would work with my colleagues on the New York City Council to seek greater financial assistance for NYCHA from the city and advocate for responsible development on adjacent property that must be affordable to community residents and offered first to NYCHA tenants who qualify.

Do you believe that there is a need for more affordable housing in New York, and if so, what would you do to meet that need?

There is a significant need for more affordable housing in New York. As part of my campaign platform, I have called for the property along the 61st Street Overbuild be to be developed into affordable housing and mixed-use commercial space. Current proposals only include luxury housing options, which we do not need in the 17th Senate district.

What would you do to address the homelessness in New York State?

We need to build more affordable housing, not more shelters, to address homelessness across New York State. We need to offer subsidies in our cities to tenants who are struggling to keep up with their rent bills, similar to programs currently being offered to shelter residents in New York City.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

We need campaign-finance reform on the state level. I support all efforts to construct a system to replace the “pay to play” model that exists currently that encourages corruption in Albany. We need a system that maximizes the importance of smaller dollar donations and makes use of real-time technology to report contributions and their origins.