SD 34 Bronx/Westchester (Riverdale-Pelham Parkway-Throgs Neck)

Alessandra Biaggi—Democrat, Working Families

Incumbent Jeff Klein (Democrat/IDC) did not respond.

Alessandra Biaggi—Democrat, Working Families

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?

Lack of access to affordable housing is one of the most critical issues facing District 34. I worked to help families with public housing at the state Department of Homes and Community Renewal. As state Senator, I will fight to protect rent-stabilized apartments, including ending vacancy decontrol, the eviction bonus, and preferential rent increases, and by repealing the Urstadt Law to give New York City more control over its rent restrictions.

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

Before we can make the kind of changes necessary to improve NYCHA housing, we need to be honest about the disastrous state it is in. Too many tenants are forced to live in nightmare conditions, including mold, lead, and other housing violations. Moreover, NYCHA leadership has consistently failed to be honest with residents about these dangerous conditions. I support increasing NYCHA funding and creating real accountability for NYCHA.

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?

Yes, I support investment in affordable housing in New York State. Part of this includes increasing transparency and accountability for existing programs like 421-a, which gives subsidies to developers who dedicate some of their new buildings to affordable units. But besides increasing the quantity of affordable housing, we need to improve housing quality by reforming NYCHA, and also need to close the loopholes that lead to the loss of rent-stabilized apartments.

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

In a state as wealthy as New York, it is unacceptable that so many people cannot access housing. High rent is a direct cause of homelessness, which is why strengthening rent control and protecting rent-stabilized apartments will be one of my priorities. I also support programs like the Home Stability Support initiative to help people in danger of losing their housing stay in their homes.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

I strongly support campaign-finance reform to limit the influence of big money in our politics. That includes closing the LLC loophole, which allows wealthy individuals to funnel millions in donations to candidates through LLCs. I also support the Fair Elections Act, which would establish public financing of campaigns through matching small-dollar contributions. This would both amplify the power of small donors and make it easier for non-wealthy individuals to run for office.