State Senate 13 Jessica Ramos

Website: ramosforstatesenate.com

Social media: @jessicaramos https://www.instagram.com/__jessicaramos__

  1. What type of housing do you currently live in?
    Regulated 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)      
      New York is an amazing city because it is a city of working people. We keep it that way by building on our rent laws and passing Good Cause Eviction. We’re going to ensure everyone has access to safe, affordable housing by legalizing basement apartments, securing a Green New Deal for Public Housing, and increasing our affordable housing stock without turning to privatization. Safe, stable housing benefits everyone, and will lift all our communities up.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    When I replaced a member of the IDC in 2019, I cosponsored the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, providing historic tenant protections for New Yorkers. When the pandemic hit, the State Legislature fought to keep people safe and in their homes while the worst of the pandemic raged on.
  • What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a state representative?  (1000 characters)
    We need to make sure everyone in New York has access to safe, affordable, stable housing. Safe housing has an impact on so many of our marginalized communities. From our immigrant families to unhoused people in our district to our TGNC neighbors, a housing-first policy is often the best way for folks to get needed services such as health care, job training for good union jobs, and treatment for substance use disorder. We also know that the best way for New Yorkers to get housing is to protect folks who are at risk for losing their homes.
  • Passing Good Cause is the main way we can regulate a housing market where nearly half of our rental units are market rate. We need all New Yorkers to be protected from eviction and skyrocketing rent. We also need to improve housing conditions in NYCHA to make sure our neighbors in public housing are living with dignity, and increase access to transitional housing as Mayor Adams continues sweeps of encampments across the city.
  • 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?
    Yes
  • Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?
    Yes
    • Please explain your answer (500 characters)       
      Ultimately, I don’t believe New Yorkers benefit when our strategy for affordable housing is to continue bending over backwards to convince real estate developers that building affordable housing is economically worth it for them. We need stronger regulations that increase the amount of affordable housing stock without privatization–and the housing needs to be truly affordable for the folks who live in the neighborhood of a new development. De-commodification doesn’t mean deregulation: we need to support innovative programs like TOPA that provide pathways to individual and collective ownership for tenants.
  • 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)
    The pandemic further exposed New York’s housing crisis. Too many New Yorkers are at risk of losing their homes due to eviction, especially after the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the expiration of the eviction moratorium, the end of federal funding for ERAP, and skyrocketing rent. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of Good Cause as I believe these protections are the best way to keep people in their homes, especially when almost half of New Yorkers live in unregulated housing.
  • Do you agree that all evictions are bad?
    Yes
    • If no, why not?   (500 characters)
  • 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)
      NYCHA’s RAD program has been disgraceful. Public jobs go to private companies that fail to take care of some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers. NYCHA is in drastic need of repairs and the RAD program has failed to deliver.
  2. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    It is completely unacceptable that my constituents in the Woodside Houses have had to go months without heat and hot water during the winter, and we need to make sure that NYCHA is accountable to residents and to the state with any increase in funding. I introduced S7859 to require NYCHA have a searchable database of ticket numbers detailing complaints and what actions have been taken to fix the issues. Currently, my constituents share that too many repair requests are ignored or take too long.
  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)
    While my bill S7859 focuses on a public searchable database of NYCHA repair requests and steps taken to address tenant requests, a similar system could be implemented for regulated housing across NY. My office also helps constituents navigate the HPD’s reporting process and serves as an advocate for constituents. I am very open to legislative ideas, and this problem is just another example of why privatization of housing in New York has become a barrier for working families.
  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)
    During the ongoing pandemic I’ve cosponsored rent freeze and rent assistance bills such as S8125A and S2742C. Although federal funding is quickly running out, my office works with tenants to secure ERAP funding where possible, and I continue to push for Good Cause in the state legislature. Unfortunately, while we secured historic tenant protections in 2019 after ousting the IDC, we are not moving quickly enough to secure housing protections for New Yorkers.
  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)
    Our shelters, housing courts, and housing market are not ready for this post-eviction-moratorium period. From speaking with Housing Justice for All, they’ve shared that championing the overwhelming labor support of Good Cause is an effective way for me to use my unique power as Chair of the Senate Labor Committee. I also work closely with coalition partners Woodside on the Move and 89th Street Tenants Unidos to ensure District 13 tenants are part of this fight.
  • 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 am very proud of the work my constituency services team does to ensure working families in District 13 access services available to New Yorkers. For example, after securing $2.1 billion for excluded workers in the 2021 budget, my team worked to secure $600,000 for excluded workers in District 13. I would like to institute a similar outreach program when buildings in District 13 become TOPA-eligible.
  • 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