State Assembly 87 Karines Reyes


Social media: @karinesreyesnyc @karinesreyesrn

  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)      
      I believe that we need to ensure that the government needs to dedicate massive investment to the preservation and development of truly affordable housing. That means expanding housing stock and supportive housing for the homeless (which I did with the passage of my bill, the HONDA, in 2021). For tenants, that means holding landlords accountable for poor housing conditions and maintenance. For middle-class residents, that means increasing opportunities for homeownership.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    I have taken numerous actions for housing justice. I sponsored legislation with Sen. Myrie to extend the eviction moratorium to 6 months beyond the deadline of the state’s NY on PAUSE executive orders. I was Assembly sponsor of HONDA, to create a state program for the conversion of distressed hotel + commercial properties into supportive housing, which passed in 2021. Also, I’m the 2nd Assembly name supporting TOPA. I was vocally supportive of the 2019 rent laws and the Good Cause Eviction bill.
  • 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 that the most pressing issues with housing are the poor state of and disinvestment in public housing, the lack of development of quality, affordable housing, and limiting the influence of wealthy landlords on our government and so much more. I support investing state government resources into public housing (along with local and federal efforts to increase investment). I believe that the development and preservation of quality affordable housing will require the elimination of 421-A and the blocking of 485-w, along with the need for the Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP),  the enactment of the Good Cause Eviction bill and the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase. Act (TOPA) and so much more.
  • 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 – Commodification of Housing leads to our society’s inability to house people. We have enough homes on the market to house homeless individuals, who are forced to settle for life in shelters or on the street, is unconscionable. Housing must truly be a human right, through massive government reform, to ensure that all people have access to quality affordable housing. Housing should not just be a means of equity, status or financing, but a lever for equality for all people. We need to ensure that people are given that access through many of the policy items and bills supported by the Met Council.
  • 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 – It would prevent landlords from instituting exorbitant rents that evict our neighbors and gentrify communities.
  • 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)
      I am concerned with the results of RAD at the Ocean Bay project in Queens. Evictions rose 800% with the use of RAD and improvements to apartments were minor. The nonprofit developers have not made the changes required to make housing more livable.
  2. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    I believe that the best strategy is for a federal infrastructure plan to provide the necessary, historic investments to help the housing authority. Until we get this federal funding, we need to fill the void by investing state and local funds into NYCHA developments. Additionally, we must impose strong standards of oversight and accountability for NYCHA management, to ensure that funds are used wisely and quickly, to achieve better and more stable housing for NYCHA residents.
  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)
    Roughly 90% of cases that come into our office have a housing component to them and we respond intently to landlord harrasment. We have the tenants file 311 complaints and elevate those complaint numbers to the appropriate agencies (HPD, DOB, etc). Additionally, if this does not lead to corrective action, we help tenants find legal representation from pro bono tenant lawyers to take landlords to court.
  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)
    I believe that we need to increase funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to provide tenants with assistance with back rent and utility arrears. This should be done through a combination of federal and state funds. In the past, I sponsored legislation to extend the eviction moratorium to 6 months after the NY on Pause executive orders and the executive-imposed eviction moratorium elapsed.
  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 support the enactment of Good Cause Eviction legislation through the 2023-2024 FY enacted state budget process. This is an effort that I supported in this most recent budget cycle and Governor Hochul’s office indicated that if the legislative leaders placed this on the one houses, this would be something that could be done. I believe that using the organizing power of tenants and my pro-tenant colleagues of the Legislature can allow for this legislation to be enacted in the budget.
  • 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)
    I will collaborate with the tenants in the building, along with tenant advocacy groups (like the Met Council on Housing) and tenants rights attorneys to assist the tenants seeking to use TOPA to purchase their building.
  • 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?