State Assembly 75 Layla Law-Gisiko


Social media: LaylaLawGisiko LaylaForNY

  1. What type of housing do you currently live in?
    Own a co-op, condo or private home
  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)      
      Housing is a human right and therefore legislative and executive branches must pass housing policies (laws, budget…) that protect and promote access to quality housing. Our legislative framework must protect tenants from rent burden, maintain and create affordable housing stock, adequately fund NYCHA maintenance, protect tenants against evictions.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    As the chair of land use, housing and zoning committee of Manhattan Community Board Five, I have advocated for affordable housing and sound housing policies (repeal of 421-a, MIH).
  • What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a state representative?  (1000 characters)
    Housing affordability, stabilizing land cost, providing supportive housing with robust mental health and social services. Fixing NYCHA.
  • 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)       
      Housing should not be commodified. While real estate is often seen as investment rather than housing, it is essential that pension-funds, asset managers are barred from investing in housing, as a commodity. Using housing as commodity could destabilize our already very fragile and volatile housing market. Speculative investment reduces the number of available housing units. For example, the vacancy rate along Billionaire’s Row is 30%. While at the same time. The number of housing units has decreased compared to 10 years ago.
  • 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)
    Good cause eviction
  • Do you agree that all evictions are bad?
    • If no, why not?   (500 characters)
      Evictions can be considered against tenants who exhibit egregious or unsafe behavior.
  • 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)
      NYCHA residents should have the right to determine if they want to enter the RAD program. That being said, the program is very problematic and may lead to numerous evictions, further privatization, and further lack of affordability.
  2. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    NYCHA mismanagement has brought the housing system on the verge of collapse. A total management overall is needed. Accountability, maintenance performance, tenant-focused operating and capital expenditures must be made.
  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)
    Tenants protection should be enforced. While housing can be a city issue, as a state assembly member, I would work with city partners to protect tenants rights and compel landlords to properly maintain their stock of apartments, that would apply to NYCHA.
  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 extend ERAP, so as to afford eviction protection. The state must expedite the case load as approx 200 million of federal aid has not yet been allocated. Housing Courts must slow down, so as to afford legal representation for tenants in evictions proceedings.
  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)
    I will work with the progressive caucus and other allies to put enough pressure on the legislature leadership to bring the bill to the floor.
  • 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)
    For TOPA to be successful, it is critical to provide tenants with access to financing. I would help tenants secure funding. I would work with the legislature to create a fund that would allow low income tenants access to ownership. I would also work towards ensuring low income owners don’t become tax-burdened.
  • 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?