Victoria Cambranes

Victoria Cambranes

www.victoriaforcouncil.com

Twitter: @VECambranes Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vcambranes/

Do you believe housing is a human right? Yes

What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)

I’ve assisted tenants that were being harassed by landlords, & tenants who were about to be evicted; I also stood with Housing Justice for All, Tenants Pac, and DSA to extend the eviction moratorium. I’ve assisted a number of individuals find safe shelter by recommending specific shelters and guiding them through the process.  I’ve worked with domestic violence victim advocates, nonprofits, & Assemblyman Lentol to decrease the red tape involved in getting victims into shelters with dignity.

3. What type of housing do you currently live in?              

Unregulated Rental Apt

4. Are you, or have you ever been, a landlord? No

4a. If yes, where & how many apts. did you own?

5. 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

6. Have you ever worked in, or had another affiliation with, the Real Estate industry?  No

7. 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

6. & 7. If so, how can we be assured you will have tenants’ interests in mind?  (250 characters)

8. What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a City Council Member?  (1000 characters)

The two most pressing issues are the privatization of NYCHA through the RAD Program, and ending the abuse of public subsidies and tax abatements via programs such as 421-A and DeBlasio’s MIH program.

I will advocate for full investment of NYCHA at the City, State, and Federal level. Privatizing our public housing does a disservice to the public at large, as public housing is a public good, and abdicating this responsibility so that developers earn profit while paving the way for further privatization is a betrayal of voters’ trust.

Fundamentally, we must end abusive subsidies and instead build 100% affordable housing. I’ll work with Congressional members to repeal the Faircloth Limit, and in the interim use the capital appropriations budget to build housing ourselves.  This allows the City to define what percentage of AMI should be applicable, and would change the current dynamic of fighting over amenities for community centers & schools.

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  The two most pressing issues are the privatization of NYCHA through the RAD Program, and ending the abuse of public subsidies and tax abatements via programs such as 421-A and DeBlasio’s MIH program.

I will advocate for full investment of NYCHA at the City, State, and Federal level. Privatizing our public housing does a disservice to the public at large, as public housing is a public good, and abdicating this responsibility so that developers earn profit while paving the way for further privatization is a betrayal of voters’ trust.

Fundamentally, we must end abusive subsidies and instead build 100% affordable housing. I’ll work with Congressional members to repeal the Faircloth Limit, and in the interim use the capital appropriations budget to build housing ourselves.  This allows the City to define what percentage of AMI should be applicable, and would change the current dynamic of fighting over amenities for community centers & schools.

9a. What would you do as an elected representative to move that vision forward? (500 characters)

No

10. Do you support the move to legalize basement apts?  Yes

11. Do you support the concept of rent regulation and eviction protections? Yes

12. Do you believe in publicly owned and controlled housing? Yes

13. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?

The neglect and disrepair can only be truly remedied by fully funding NYCHA at every level; government in fact has the responsibility to do so, and it also has the responsibility to admit that it’s simply the truth.  With respect to physical infrastructure, remediation and repairs should be performed by union labor, and not the current unskilled labor hired by private developers, which only creates future tail risk for NYCHA residents.  

14. Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)/ PACT program and other privatization schemes? No

15. Would you support an immediate moratorium on the sale or lease of all City-owned land and air rights to for-profit developers? Yes

16. Would you require that any housing built on public land be 100% permanently affordable to low- and extremely-low income New Yorkers? Yes

17. Would you aggressively use City programs and eminent domain to take ownership of distressed properties and transfer them to community control such as Community Land Trusts?      Yes

18. Would you end the custom of deferring to local council members on land use decisions? Yes

19. What standards would a rezoning need to meet for you to support it? (500 characters)

Any rezoning for height extensions (“FAR extension”) should require the elimination of the Faircloth Limit and the building of new Section 9 public housing. While we work on eliminating Faircloth, however, the City should extend FAR limits only in situations when it is building its own 100% affordable and/or supportive housing. 

20. What reforms to zoning would you propose to increase community input into development?  (500 characters)

We must create an office of Community Planning, as local transit, infrastructure, education, and public safety needs are particular to each community, and these issues are only known by those most directly affected by them.  This Office must be paired with a new comprehensive plan, drafted in partnership with the City, which will recognize what planning needs the City as a whole requires, and will balance these interests.

21. Would you pass and enforce a true racial impact study as part of any rezoning?  Yes

Percentage of people who are below 200% of the poverty line 30% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  30%

23. What is/has been the most important land use fight in your district and what position did you take on it?  (500 characters)

The Gowanus Rezoning, which I have testified against on numerous occasions, and will continue to do so during the ULURP process, unless the demands of the GNJC are met.  I’ve also been working closely with organizers and activists from that organization, and have been liaising with plaintiffs in the related litigation. 

24. Would you support increased funding and oversight of NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Mayor’s Tenant Protection Unit to educate tenants on their rights to organize in NYC rental buildings? YesYes

25. Will you support the City seeking injunctions against the landlords on the Right to Counsel’s “worst evictors list,” barring worst evictors from bringing eviction cases while under investigation, and implementing good cause evictions protections? Yes

26. Do you support expanding funding and oversight of the City’s emergency repair program to correct hazardous violations and send the owner the bill? Yes

27. How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  (500 characters)

Harassing tenants is never acceptable; where anti-harassment legislation can be implemented, I will be in favor of such regulations. In cases of smaller multi-family homes in which that’s not permissible, I will act as a negotiator and put pressure on landlords to act in good faith on behalf of their tenants, and to support tenants in finding representation.

28. Do you support the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA—Int 0737-2018) and Commercial Rent Stabilization bill (Int 1796-2019) currently in committee in the City Council?Yes

29. Do you support converting hotel rooms into permanently affordable apts? Yes

30. Would you end the practice of police responding to people who are homeless?  Yes

31. Would you oppose homeless shelters being built in your district? No

31a. Why or why not?  (500 characters)

As a result of under-resourcing, City-operated homeless shelters have become the least desirable shelters for homeless individuals to use.

Any newly-built shelters need to be integrated with new permanent housing, and need to finally be properly resourced with job training, healthcare and educational programming that will allow individuals to move into more permanent housing, rather than cycling through DHS.

32. Do you agree that all evictions are bad? Yes

32a. If no, why not?

33. Are you committed to making sure every tenant has free access to counsel in Housing Court? Yes

34. Would you support an eviction moratorium every winter (Heat Season Oct. 1-May 31)?  Yes

35. Do you believe that the Rent Guidelines Board should lower rents for rent stabilized tenants? Yes

35a. If yes, what will you do to influence the board to do so?  (500 characters)
Because the State has deemed the 30 billion dollar bailout for tenants improbable (which would cancel rent), but hasn’t presented an alternative to ease economic burden placed on tenants, it only makes sense to ensure that we invest in those who are most vulnerable so that they can recover from the crisis as quickly as possible.  I will do everything in my power to make that a reality.

36. Have you ever testified on behalf of tenants at a public hearing of the RGB? No

37. Do you support restricting the ability of landlords to discriminate and surveil tenants through the use of technologies such as key fobs, smartphone apps, and facial recognition to gain entry into their apartment units and/or buildings? Yes

38. Will you commit to only vote for a budget that decreases funding to the NYPD? Yes