State Assembly 75 Harrison Marks

Website: https://www.harrisonmarksforny.com/

Social media: https://twitter.com/HarrisonDMarks N/A

  1. What type of housing do you currently live in?
    Unregulated Rental Apt
  2. Are you, or have you ever been, a landlord?
    No
    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?
    No
  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?
     No
    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?
    Yes
    • If so, what does that mean to you?   (500 characters)      
      It’s simple: Everyone deserves shelter and a roof over their head. No caveats or exceptions. It is a moral and policy failing that so many New Yorkers do not have access to adequate and safe shelter.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    I sit on an advisory board for Bowery Residents Committee, a nonprofit that operates shelters and supportive services including job training for homeless people. I am passionate about helping homeless New Yorkers get on their feet. I believe the state of NYCHA housing in our neighborhood is completely unacceptable. And I believe that astronomically high rents are burdening our city’s ability to recover from the pandemic.
  • 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 cost of housing is prohibitive to the growth & vibrancy of our city. Housing prices have bounced back with a vengeance as we’ve begun to recover from the pandemic. I’ve heard from many constituents & friends who are facing rent increases in the 50-75% range. The state should be stepping in to regulate the market to stabilize rents & ensure affordability is priority. I’m supportive of Good Cause Eviction and using all the powers of state law to bring the cost of housing down. That also means building more affordable housing. The housing market is a market, and we need to increase housing supply to decrease price. My neighborhood & district have experienced incredible growth over the last decade, but many of the units that were built exclude low- & moderate-income New Yorkers. The state should bolster the HONDA program with additional funds, make it easier to achieve commercial-to-residential conversation, and find a better incentive than 421a or 485w to build affordable housing.
  • Have you or anyone close to you (relation, friend, etc) been evicted or been threatened with eviction?
    No
  • Have you ever had to fight a landlord for repairs or faced harassment?
    No
  • Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?
    No
    • Please explain your answer (500 characters)       
      Housing is a human right. To me that means we need to increase the floor of housing to ensure everyone has access to shelter. That doesn’t require upending the market and creating an artificial ceiling for those that have the means to buy or pay for more expensive housing. With that said, we need to ensure the state is in the business of building affordable housing and provides incentives to private developers to build affordably.                                              
  • Do you believe in publicly owned and controlled housing?
    Yes
  • What is one rent and/or eviction protection you would enact if you had the opportunity?   (500 characters)
    Good Cause Eviction. Localities across the country are enacting similar policies and it’s time our state do the same.
  • Do you agree that all evictions are bad?
    No
    • If no, why not?   (500 characters)
      All evictions are undesirable. But there are instances where it may be necessary to remove bad tenants from an apartment. The city and state should reserve ways to evict tenants in cases of nonpayment and nuisances to other neighbors.
  • Do you support the concept of universal rent control?
    Yes

Overview on Housing

  • Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and other privatization schemes?
    Maybe
    1. Please explain why or why not (250 characters)
      Though I am generally against privatization, my NYCHA neighbors overwhelmingly support the Chelsea WG’s recommendations because it protects tenants’ rights and ensures capital funding.
  • NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    Though I would be supportive of any process that models itself on the Chelsea NYCHA Working Group process, residents should not be forced to unfairly negotiate for their hot water and heat. The city, state, & federal governments have a responsibility to provide the funding needed to eliminate the capital needs backlog of NYCHA. The stand-off between our different levels of government on this funding is shameful. As a state legislator, I would be a fierce advocate for increased funding for NYCHA.
  • Do you support setting aside 15% of all units created in new state-subsidized affordable housing projects for homeless families and individuals?
    Yes
  • How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  (500 characters)
    My District Office would be equipped to handle housing casework to work towards a favorable outcome for tenants. I would be prepared to draft letters, hold rallies or calls to action, organize tenants, and use the power of legislation to pressure bad landlords into doing their job.
  • Do you support regulating the 300,000 deregulated rent-stabilized apartments?
    Yes
  • Will you support increased funding and oversight hearings of DHCR’s Office of Rent Administration to ensure timely responses?
    Yes
  • How will you ensure people who owe back rent due to COVID are not evicted and do not continue to owe money?   (500 characters)
    Despite the lapse in the eviction moratorium and the use of the hardship declaration, many renters are still struggling to make ends meet. The state legislature must do everything in its power to ensure our laws protect tenants while we still recover from this public health crisis. In the meantime, I hope to work closely with constituents on a case by case basis to provide the assistance they need to stay in their homes.
  • Would you support financial and criminal penalties against landlords and brokers that deny a prospective tenant housing based on using a tenant blacklist?
    Yes

Current Bills and Campaigns

  • Do you support Good Cause Eviction Protections?
    Yes
  • If Good Cause is not passed this session, what will you do to ensure it gets passed in 2023?  (500 characters)
    If I am fortunate enough to be elected to the Assembly this year, I would look forward to being a fierce advocate for Good Cause Eviction in the 2023 legislative session.
  • Will you support ending MCIs?
    Yes
  • Will you commit to fully funding the Housing Access Voucher Program?
    Yes
  • Do you support the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)?
    Yes
  • How will you support tenants in your district opting into TOPA?  (500 characters)
    Tenants need not just the opportunity to buy their rented apartments, but also the financing to do so. I would fight to make it easier for tenants to purchase their units and use my District Office as a resource hub for the constituents I would serve.
  • Do you support the move to legalize basement apartments and ADUs?
    Yes
  • Do you support tenants’ right to collective bargaining?
    Yes
  • Do you support 421a or Gov Hochul’s proposed 485w?
    No
  • Do you support fully funding the Excluded Workers fund?
    Yes
  • Do you support the “Excluded No More” bill?
    Yes
  • Are you committed to making sure every tenant in the state has free access to counsel in Housing Court?
    Yes
  • Will you commit to fully funding statewide Right to Counsel in 2023’s budget?
    Yes