State Assembly 81 George Diaz

Website: http://www.diazforthepeople.com/

Social media: @DiazBronx diazforthepeople

  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?
    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)      
      Besides food and clothing, having a place to live is essential to human life. We are estimated to have around 80,000 homeless New Yorkers in our city. Besides the inherent danger of living on the street or staying in a homeless shelter there is the stigma attached to being in this situation. No one should have to go through this. We need to use the power of the city and state to do what we can to help those in need of housing.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    I have been to rallies, spoke at community events, went to Albany to lobby state elected officials, I worked for a City Council Member as a community liaison who assisted tenants with one-shot deals, addressing landlords and building management to handle needed repairs for apartments and buildings overall. I have personally visited tenants to see the issues they were complaining about, taking photos and sending emails to building management.
  • What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a state representative?  (1000 characters)
    Restoring eviction protection for tenants who are struggling to pay rent or cover late payments due to COVID. Amending the criminal code to allow landlords with a history of abusive behavior to tenants to be held criminally liable. Changing the lien laws that allow bad landlords to keep their buildings by restricting their ability to sell properties while continuing to not address problems in the buildings. Looking to close loopholes in our current housing laws to further protect tenants.
  • Have you or anyone close to you (relation, friend, etc) been evicted or been threatened with eviction?
    Yes
  • Have you ever had to fight a landlord for repairs or faced harassment?
    No
  • Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?
    Yes
    • Please explain your answer (500 characters)       
      My mom and I were evicted when I was a child. I went with her to housing court a few times.
    •  
    • Good, affordable housing has been hard to find for many years. I believe in looking at many options to protect housing including Community Land Trusts, giving tenants first option in buying the building (The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), State Senator Myrie’s bill, protecting tenants from landlords who may try to turn over properties to landlords who will try to dramatically raise rents and protect tenants from eviction when there is a push to convert apartment buildings to co-ops, which is an issue in my neighborhood.
  • 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)
    Increase state oversight and changing the law to deal with irresponsible landlords who abuse property lien status
  • Do you agree that all evictions are bad?
    No
    • If no, why not?   (500 characters)
      Sadly, not every tenant does the right thing. I will work to protect every tenant doing what they’re supposed to do and every tenant who is struggling. In most cases I will side with tenants. When a tenant chooses to damage property, harass and threaten other tenants they are at fault.
  • Do you support the concept of universal rent control?
    Yes

Overview on Housing

  1. Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and other privatization schemes?
    No
    1. Please explain why or why not (250 characters)
      A few years back I met tenants rallying on West 17th St. over NYCHA turning over their buildings to a private management company who may try to evict tenants for non-payment and other issues. They were right to be worried.
  2. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    The State needs to contribute more funding to address this issue as federal money is inconsistent and far too little to address most of the long-term issues.
  3. Do you support setting aside 15% of all units created in new state-subsidized affordable housing projects for homeless families and individuals?
    Yes
  4. How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  (500 characters)
    As a community liaison for a former City Council Member, I worked with tents to get needed repairs, including contacting the management company. I will continue to do so with the added ability of being a sitting elected official to pursue them and introduce laws to go after them including changing the criminal code to allow for the arrest of landlords who allow dangerous conditions to continue.
  5. Do you support regulating the 300,000 deregulated rent-stabilized apartments?
    Yes
  6. Will you support increased funding and oversight hearings of DHCR’s Office of Rent Administration to ensure timely responses?
    Yes
  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 city has programs to assist tenants that I want to introduce and pass on the state level. This includes One-Shot deals, rent assistance programs like SCRIE and DRIE, creating a rent forgiveness program on the state level where the state can cover part or all of the back rent and restoring the state’s eviction moratorium
  8. 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)
    I will take the issue to the people in my district at townhalls, make public statements, speak about it to the media and on the Assembly floor, rally and petition in Speaker Heustis’s district to pressure the Speaker to bring the issue to a vote.
  • 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)
    I will go to the buildings and speak to tenants personally, invite Sen. Myrie to speak to tenants, put them in contact with non-profits and agencies with experience including the NorthWest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC), a non-profit who is actively involved in housing rights and if possible, send an expert on the matter to meet with tenants
  • 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?
    Yes
  • 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