State Assembly 73 Adam Roberts


Social media: @adamrobertsnyc adamfornyc

  1. What type of housing do you currently live in?
    Unregulated Rental Apt
  2. Are you, or have you ever been, a landlord?
    1. If yes, where & how many apts. do/did you own?
  3. Does your campaign accept contributions from real estate developers (including related individuals), corporate lobbyists, organizations that participate in the carceral system, and/or landlords?
  4. Have you ever worked in, or had another affiliation with, the Real Estate industry? Yes
  5. Have any of your campaign or advisory staff held a position as a corporate lobbyist or an executive role with the Real Estate industry?
    1. If so, how can we be assured you will have tenants’ interests in mind?  (250 characters) 
      I work in architecture, a subset of real estate. Our state’s problems with real estate, particularly the housing crisis, originate from poor land-use policies. We need well-intentioned people with real estate expertise to solve these problems.

Values and Vision

  • Do you believe housing is a human right?
    • If so, what does that mean to you?   (500 characters)      
      Everyone has a right to housing. A safe and good quality home is essential to maintaining a decent standard of living. We have seen that the lack of housing has had severely detrimental implications for our state, New Yorkers further from their jobs, recreation, families, and friends. This in turn has decreased the quality of life for countless New Yorkers, and for the most vulnerable has driven them into poverty and mental illness.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    Housing justice is the most critical part of my role at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York. I represent New York’s architects employed at affordable housing firms and housing agencies which design our city’s desperately needed housing. Recently, I led the organization’s successful efforts to introduce fire safety legislation after the Twin Parks fire, rezone SoHo/NoHo to allow for affordable housing, and incorporate safety-requirements into the proposed legalization of ADUs.
  • What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a state representative?  (1000 characters)
    The most pressing housing issue in New York is the lack of housing. High demand for housing has sent prices skyrocketing due to a lack of supply. We need more housing of all typologies: market-rate, affordable, and supportive. Market-rate is needed for middle and upper-income households, affordable for those who have lower incomes, and supportive for those suffering from mental illness and addiction. A combination of discriminatory land use policies and lack of will from elected officials has prevented the state from building enough of each of these typologies. To address the housing crisis, I will support the legalization of ADUs, retrofitting class B and C office buildings into housing, upzoning of areas near transit (transit oriented development), NYCHA’s housing trust, eliminating parking minimums, and ending single-family zoning. In my district, I will personally champion proposed housing. Not only will I fight for these, but I already have been doing so at AIA New York.
  • Have you or anyone close to you (relation, friend, etc) been evicted or been threatened with eviction?
  • Have you ever had to fight a landlord for repairs or faced harassment?
  • Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?
    • Please explain your answer (500 characters)       
      Yes, I believe housing is a human right. Currently, the state has no obligation to provide housing to New Yorkers, while the city’s requirement is only to provide shelter. We need our state and local governments to see safe and good quality housing as an entitlement. To end commodification, the state must remove exclusionary zoning laws and properly fund public housing. I promise to not only speak in favor of these in the Assembly, but act on them. We need elected officials who will have the courage to challenge those who seek to stop affordable and supportive housing in their neighborhoods.
  • Do you believe in publicly owned and controlled housing?
  • What is one rent and/or eviction protection you would enact if you had the opportunity?   (500 characters)
    I would support the right to counsel in eviction proceedings (S6678/A7570). Everyone should have a right to a fair eviction proceeding. This right can always be exercised with proper legal counsel. New York City’s right to counsel has been very successful and illustrates that the program, with proper funding, can be implemented statewide. We already provide public defenders in criminal proceedings, so there is a clear precedent for the right to counsel in serious legal proceedings.
  • Do you agree that all evictions are bad?
    • If no, why not?   (500 characters)
  • Do you support the concept of universal rent control?

Overview on Housing

  1. Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and other privatization schemes?
    1. Please explain why or why not (250 characters)
      No, public housing should be public. Its purpose is to be operated for the benefit of its tenants without any profit motive by its owners. This relationship changes when public housing is privatized, as has been seen throughout the country.
  2. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    We must create a sustainable source of funding for NYCHA and allow it to use that funding efficiently. The housing trust is the only model which can feasibly do this for NYCHA in the next few years. It would provide NYCHA with access to billions and enable it to use better procurement methods, all while not privatizing the agency. Without immediate funding, political pressure will continue to build to privatize NYCHA. The housing trust is the only realistic means of stopping this.
  3. Do you support setting aside 15% of all units created in new state-subsidized affordable housing projects for homeless families and individuals?
  4. How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  (500 characters)
    I would advocate for proper funding for local building departments, particularly NYC DOB. The scale of harassment we see in NYC occurs because DOB lacks the resources to properly enforce basic safety laws. Comparatively small amounts of funding for DOB inspectors and plan examiners would severely curtail the ability of landlords to harass tenants. Working in architecture, I see the bad actors in my field who harass tenants are only able to do so because of a lack of DOB oversight.
  5. Do you support regulating the 300,000 deregulated rent-stabilized apartments?
  6. Will you support increased funding and oversight hearings of DHCR’s Office of Rent Administration to ensure timely responses?
  7. How will you ensure people who owe back rent due to COVID are not evicted and do not continue to owe money?   (500 characters)
    The state must properly fund the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). While it was reliant on federal funding, the state must make up for the lack of funding to continue the program. Otherwise, we will continue to see a rise in evictions. This will cost the state far more in the long-term than properly funding the program by making those evicted more reliant on state services.
  8. Would you support financial and criminal penalties against landlords and brokers that deny a prospective tenant housing based on using a tenant blacklist?

Current Bills and Campaigns

  • Do you support Good Cause Eviction Protections?
  • If Good Cause is not passed this session, what will you do to ensure it gets passed in 2023?  (500 characters)
    A more focused version of Good Cause which would overcome the political opposition witnessed this year. Much of the lack of support from those who in concept support Good Cause came from the idea that everyone, even the wealthiest, would have their rents protected. We can also increase support including pegging rent increases to inflation and allowing for increases greater than inflation increases in higher-value units.
  • Will you support ending MCIs?
  • Will you commit to fully funding the Housing Access Voucher Program?
  • Do you support the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)?
  • How will you support tenants in your district opting into TOPA?  (500 characters)
    Yes, I support the right of tenants to purchase the homes in which they live. This occurred in my district on a larger scale in the 1980s during the creation of co-ops. Co-ops proved to be incredibly beneficial, providing much-needed equity for residents and providing them with protections during the skyrocketing rental prices of the 1990s and 2000s. I will strongly encourage more homeownership in my district and throughout the state.
  • Do you support the move to legalize basement apartments and ADUs?
  • Do you support tenants’ right to collective bargaining?
  • Do you support 421a or Gov Hochul’s proposed 485w?
  • Do you support fully funding the Excluded Workers fund?
  • Do you support the “Excluded No More” bill?
  • Are you committed to making sure every tenant in the state has free access to counsel in Housing Court?
  • Will you commit to fully funding statewide Right to Counsel in 2023’s budget?