State Senate 33 Robert Jackson


Social media: @rjackson_nyc @senatorrjackson

  1. What type of housing do you currently live in?
    Regulated Rental Apt
  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 the top constituent issue in my office. I always say that if people don’t have a place to live or food to eat, then we are all in trouble. It is all of our responsibility to approach housing as a public need that needs to be met. Access to safe, humane, & affordable housing is a right for every individual regardless of their income, immigration status, gender, ability, sexual orientation, religion, health, or criminal history. When we fail to house our neighbor, we fail as a people.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    I helped pass historic pro-tenant laws that were held up for years by the Republicans and IDC. As a tenant, I organized by building through a rent strike and won. I participated as a key member of the NMN4S coalition. As Senator, I support groups that organize and provide legal support for tenants. I host tenant clinics with our community partners. I’ve held several ERAP clinics, shown up at rallies and protests. I speak up in senate conferences and budget negotiations on behalf of tenants.
  • 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 rent is too high. We have to start with stopping evictions by helping tenants who owe rent arrears due to COVID. I’m proud of the senate budget that adds millions to the ERAP program. We have to pass the Good Cause bill. Every tenant needs access to legal representation. Every building with a majority number of rent stabilized or controlled units should have tenant associations. Education, empowerment & unity are the strongest tools tenants have against evictions. We have to expand the voucher program to address homelessness and incentivize building more affordable housing. We need to stop giving developers lucrative tax breaks that lead to building market rate housing.
  • We have to protect the affordable housing stock, while providing opportunities for New Yorkers to own their housing. We also fund and invest in public community land trust programs.
  • We have to push for timely and quality repairs. I plan to help get legislation passed as soon as possible to make all this a reality.
  • 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)       
      If we are going to view housing as serving a human need, then the business of housing needs to be. completely non profitable venture. As long as the private market plays a role in housing, we will have a system that will kick someone out of their home for the sake of private profits. In addition to tenant/community opportunities to purchase, we also need to make room for the flourishing of Community Land Trusts in our city. That involves giving them resources to grow as organizations and it also means giving them *literal* land by making a preference for housing on city-owned land to be developed by non-profits and run by the community.
  • 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)
    Right now, we must stop evictions. Therefore it’s a tie between passing Good Cause and providing funding to ensure every tenant who is threatened with eviction has immediate access to legal representation.
  • 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)
      Public housing should remain public to protect housing & workers’ rights. We should fund & make NYCHA the gold standard. Tenants should also self determine their destiny, which is why accessible education & transparency on impact of RAD is important.
  2. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    We need the political will and cooperation to get NYCHA billions of cash from all levels of government. I will fight for GND for public housing that pays NYCHA residents to get training to retrofit the buildings for energy efficiency. I also support increased federal funding of Section 9 as the best choice for closing capital gaps. Section 8 conversions should be a last resort. We need accountability measures in place to heavily address the repairs backlog that lead to poor living conditions.
  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)
    We do this everyday in my office. Whether it’s individual calls or letters on behalf of the tenant, partnering up with other agencies and organizations, or escalating to a public action, my community affairs team and I are at the ready to pressure landlords to the right thing in providing timely and proper repairs to their tenants.
  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 moratorium should have been extended. However, we were able to provide additional funds to the ERAP program. Now, we have to make sure that collectively we get the word out and as many tenants who may be eligible apply. My office plans to resume our ERAP clinics in the near future.
  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 continue to work closely with the advocates who are part of the Housing Justice movement. We also have to us the time to recruit, educate, and empower more tenants to gear up for the next session. Organizing within the conference with my colleagues, especially with the bill sponsors, will also be key in getting it passed, as well as including it as one of my top legislative priorities with the Senate leader.
  • 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’d hold public forums in educating them on TOPA and bring the proper agencies and organizations for support. I’ll also bring resources to make sure tenants are prepared to be eligible for the program. First things first, we must help Senator Myrie pass this legislation as soon as possible.
  • 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?