State Assembly 75 Christopher LeBron


Social media: lebron4ny lebron4ny

  1. What type of housing do you currently live in?
    Regulated 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? No
  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) 

Values and Vision

  • Do you believe housing is a human right?
    • If so, what does that mean to you?   (500 characters)      
      I left my profession to work in public service because of the decaying state of my previous housing situation. Housing as a human right means living at a standard that not only speaks to the quality of your home (properly working appliances for example), but also not living in fear of eviction where a landlord and the court holds a power over a tenant and their family, and last but not least having an apartment if you are unhoused that is more than a hotel room.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    I created a tenant association out of necessity. The organizing work done to fight my land lord ultimately led to the City’s largest settlement against a slumlord using apartments as illegal hotels. I have testified on behalf of my neighbors in housing court to prevent their eviction and have their right recognized. I have rallied with neighbors living in squalor. And I have worked with NYCHA to abate mold, lead, lack of heat/hot water and fix broken elevators in my time at City Hall.
  • What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a state representative?  (1000 characters)
    I believe we need to close loopholes for “market” value tenants that allow landlords to wildly speculate on “market rate” for apartments across the state. The good cause eviction bundle of legislation must be passed in the next legislative session. We cannot allow it to flounder like the NY Health Act. New Yorkers of all ages deserve a regulated market that provides them and their neighbors an opportunity to invest in the communities of their choice and not live like nomads.
  • Additionally we need to upgrade our state technology to provide a deeper ability to track currently regulated apartments. Smart technology and ending apartment warehousing will bring tens of thousands of apartments back to market.
  • Currently there are over 30k apartments listed on AirBNB in NYC that belong to unhoused New Yorkers, immigrant families, and the rent poor. We need to end the short term stay economy and get landlords out of the hotel business and back to the business of renting to New Yorkers.
  • 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)       
      Decommodified housing should be the end goal of any housing organizer. I firmly believe that landlords that abuse the system should have their property fall under the receivership of the tenants. Additionally any landlord that is practicing demolition by neglect should have HPD activate Article 7. Most importantly where there are opportunities for the city or state to purchase open lots including any and all parking lots the focus should be on developing housing under the governance of a community land trust board.
  • 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)
    Eviction protection to enact: What we are seeing right now in housing court is unacceptable. New Yorkers deserve to face a judge with a housing lawyer. I believe that stays and delays of trials should be mandatory if a tenant does not have proper representation.
  • Rent protection to enact: Rent raises need to be regulated across the board. In Hell’s Kitchen we are seeing speculative rent raises upwards to 57% and tenants outright being denied leases who are living on a month to month basis.
  • Do you agree that all evictions are bad?
    • If no, why not?   (500 characters)
      I can only speak of lived experiences. When I was a child a neighbor abused alcohol and on two occasions he threatened my father at knifepoint. One evening we were coming home and I was actually present for the altercation, needless to say at 37 I still vividly remember the sheer terror and the screams. If I was a landlord presented with a tenant whose actions placed others in physical harm I would seek to find alternative living for that person. I wouldn’t want them on the street.
  • 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)
      The Federal Government and the State have an obligation to properly fund all section-9 housing. These large swaths of property management transfers come with investment on current housing stock but at a cost of losing tenant rights.
  2. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    My parents were raised in NYCHA apartments in Amsterdam Houses and Marcy Houses. I have family all across NYC living in NYCHA housing the underfunding of NYCHA is by design and rooted in racism. While perhaps some smaller properties could opt in to RAD I do not believe the entire portfolio should be on the auction block for companies like RELATED. The State and the Federal government must commit to fully funding the capital improvement bills, and operational costs for NYCHA.
  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 believe in calling out bad landlords in public and pressuring DOB and HPD to respond accordingly to 311 tickets on repairs and harassment. Denying residential repairs is a form of harassment and is a denial of equitable housing as a human right. My office will aid in finding safe spaces for organizing and planning so the weight of my office and their collective action applies the appropriate pressure for response. Additionally I will use my office for tenant landlord mediation.
  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)
    There are three things we need to do.
  8. 1) Slow or stop evictions where tenants do not have legal representation in housing court.
  9. 2) Work to find relief for small landlords who are behind in their mortgage payments or taxes.
  10. 3) Join the coalition calling for the release of ERAP funds and audit the companies contracted to receive, review and disperse ERAP funds.
  11. 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)
    Absolutely yes!
  • 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)
    Because property is so expensive in my district I believe the greatest support elected officials can offer is working with the tenants and organizations to secure the funds to secure their properties.
  • 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?