State Senate 34 Ian Harris


Social media: @ianharrisnyc @ianharrisnyc

  1. What type of housing do you currently live in?
    Limited Equity Coop
  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 treated as a commodity instead of a right. There have been protections created. However, there isn’t a law that guarantees a right to housing. Protections and laws aren’t “rights”. Rights serve as the backbone of governments, determine what laws are passed, and steer what protections are created. Food, clothing, and shelter are the essentials for what humans need to survive. Elected or not, I will continue to fight to ensure that housing is treated as the undeniable right that is it.
  • What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)             
    I’ve supported good cause eviction and ERA in New York. The pandemic has, both, highlight and worsened the housing crisis. That’s especially true in my community. An example of that was seen when the decision to make it illegal for renters to pay a broker a landlord hired was reversed. If move-in costs prohibit those who are able to afford rent from being able to rent then there is an issue. I’d fight to reverse the reversal.
  • What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a state representative?  (1000 characters)
    Affordability and discrimination. Let’s pass Good Cause Eviction protections, make tenant-paid broker fees illegal, keep for-profit entities away from public housing, get the money needed to truly repair NYCHA from the federal govermnent and hold NYCHA truly accountable for tracking progress.
  • I’d fight for all of that.
  • 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)       
      I wrote about this earlier. On a state level housing has been treated as a commodity as opposed to being a right. Have there been protections created? Yes, it would be disingenuous to say otherwise. However, there isn’t a law that guarantees a right to housing. Protections aren’t “rights”. In fairness, laws aren’t even “rights”. Rights serve as the backbone of governments. Rights determine what laws are passed. Rights steer what protections are created. If food, clothing, and shelter are the bare essentials for what humans need to survive then housing is a right. Unfortunately, it’s not treated as such because it’s a commodity. If elected (even if I’m not elected) I will fight to ensure that housing is treated as the undeniable right is it.
  • 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)
    That’s simple – Good Cause Eviction. I wish that I was given space to discuss other protections that I’d fight for.
  • Do you agree that all evictions are bad?
    • If no, why not?   (500 characters)
      To be frank, allowing answers to be only 500 characters or less for such meaty questions isn’t great. If a tenant is a danger to their neighbors and hasn’t changed their behavior after being given chances (not barring violent offenses which shouldn’t be given second chances) then evicting them isn’t bad.
  • 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)
      It’s been proven that for-profit management of publicly funded properties that have large swaths of black and brown people doens’t bode well for such people. Wasting time with practices that are proven to be harmful isn’t right.
  2. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect, and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?             (500 characters)            
    A problem that’s been plaguing the city for decades can not be answered in 500 characters or less. Let’s jump on a call or even a Zoom panel to discuss. One of the things I’ll speak on is getting a hard number that’s needed from the federal government in fix everything, work on sourcing the funds and create systems that track (in real time) progress of the work. If adequate progress isn’t made then we remove people that are ineffective in favor of those who will do the actual work.
  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)
    Helping find organizations that go after such landlords in court. Assist our neighbors on the administrative side of things. Take the fight to the press and allow the court of public opinion help sway their minds.
  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)
    Remove the blacklist and/or go after landlord and brokers who discrimate based off a blacklist.
  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)
    Work with my collegues who vote against it and help them change their minds through conversation and in-person demonstrations.
  • 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)
    Door knocking and phone calls to our neighbors explaining what it is and how we can help them with the administrative side of things. These programs tend to not see their information properly disseminated. “If you build it they will come” only works in movies. You must build, create, promote and assist.
  • 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?