LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR RACE 2018

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR RACE 2018

Published: 
August 2018

Welcome to this special election issue of Tenant/Inquilino.

Many crucial issues about New York City housing are determined at the state level, from the strength of our rent-regulation laws to funding for public housing. Therefore, we have taken the step of sending questionnaires to all candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and for the state Senate in the 20 districts with the highest numbers of rent-regulated tenants.

The primaries will be held on Thursday, Sept. 13, and the general election Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Find your polling place here: https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search

 


Kathy Hochul, incumbent—Democrat, Independence, Women's Equality

Jumaane Williams—Democrat, Working Families

Jia Lee—Green Party

Michael Volpe—Independent

Republican-Conservative Julie Killian did not respond.


Kathy Hochul, incumbent—Democrat, Independence, Women's Equality

https://kathyhochul.com/

What is your position on rent regulation, what work have you done in the past to further that position, and if elected, what would you do in 2019?

The Lieutenant Governor will continue push for the preservation of affordable housing. In 2016 the Cuomo/ Hochul administration launched an initiative to return over 4,000 New York City units to rent regulation. This, coupled with the creation of the Tenant Protection Unit and the outlawing of source-of-income discrimination, will provide New Yorkers with the ability to find affordable housing.

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the New York City Housing Authority, and how would you address it?

NYCHA has long been plagued with inadequate leaders that have failed to provide forward-thinking strategic vision, which has resulted in irreversible damage to children, families and residents. The Cuomo/Hochul administration provided $250 million to conduct repairs, lead abatement and mold removal, and signed legislation for an independent monitor. The independent monitor will ensure that NYCHA’s anemic leader does not squander this opportunity.

Do you believe that there is a need for more affordable housing in New York, and if so, what would you do to meet that need?

Cuomo/Hochul led the fight and twice passed the strongest tenant protections in a generation. They created the Tenant Protection Unit, placing approximately 6,000 buildings and 62,000 units under rent stabilization, invested $20 billion in homelessness and affordable housing programs, and ‎replaced 421a with Affordable NY to provide fair wages. They invested $20 billion in a five-year affordable-housing plan to address statewide housing (multifamily and single-family housing, community development, and rent stabilization).

What would you do to address the homelessness in New York State?

Cuomo/Hochul continue with their $20 billion comprehensive plan to combat homelessness. The plan includes a $10 billion to create 6,000 new supportive housing beds and $7.5 billion to end the homelessness crisis and support housing programs, rental subsidies, and other shelter costs in New York City and across the state. This plan includes the 2017 ESSHI program that provides social services for supportive housing residents. Hochul will continue to work on these program.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

The Lieutenant Governor is a lifelong supporter of public financing of campaigns and closing the LLC loophole. As legislative counsel for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, she wrote his public campaign-financing bill.


Jumaane Williams—Democrat, Working Families

http://www.jumaanewilliams.com

What is your position on rent regulation, what work have you done in the past to further that position, and if elected, what would you do in 2019?

I support the repeal of the Urstadt Law and allowing local governments to determine their own rent regulations. As chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings, I authored and oversaw necessary legislation to renew rent-regulation laws in Albany. If elected, I would forcefully advocate for the repeal of the Urstadt Law.

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the New York City Housing Authority, and how would you address it?

The largest issue is the decades of disinvestment and neglect of our public housing stock, which has caused homes to deteriorate and yielded a culture of apathy and mismanagement among NYCHA personnel. I would work to reverse the financial neglect while increasing NYCHA’s accountability to local government to prevent future scandals like the recent lead-paint coverup.

Do you believe that there is a need for more affordable housing in New York, and if so, what would you do to meet that need?

I do believe there is a need for more affordable housing, targeted to specific income bands. I would push to have affordable-housing mandates abandon the AMI (area median income) standard as a metric for calculating affordability, in favor of something more reflective of local income bands.

What would you do to address the homelessness in New York State?

I would work to prevent any one particular solution from dominating the conversation. It is insufficient to “build more housing” if working New Yorkers’ wages aren’t enough to afford the rent, or if banks won’t make home loans and people otherwise able to become homeowners are trapped in the rental market. A crisis rarely has one cause and one solution; we must be mindful to implement a holistic solution to the systemic breakdown.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

I strongly support campaign-finance reform. I believe activist energy can defeat billionaire dollars, but we should be working towards a system where those dollars should not have the outsized influence that they do.


Jia Lee—Green Party

http://www.howiehawkins.org/

What is your position on rent regulation, what work have you done in the past to further that position, and if elected, what would you do in 2019?

The commodification of housing is the reason for the housing crisis. Homelessness is higher than during the Great Depression. The inability to pay rent and evictions are listed as the main reasons for this rise in homelessness. There are more children without secure housing than ever. Stronger rent regulations are absolutely necessary. Details are listed on our website for specific actions http://www.howiehawkins.org/issues_affordable_housing

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the New York City Housing Authority, and how would you address it?  

One of the biggest issues facing NYCHA is a lack of adequate funding and management. In addition, the private/public partnerships for real-estate development have created conditions where private interests outweigh public interests.

Do you believe that there is a need for more affordable housing in New York, and if so, what would you do to meet that need?

There needs to be a reality check in the city and state government over what affordable housing means for working people. Incomes are not meeting the rising cost. There needs to be an end to subsidies that benefit large real-estate developers but leave out the working class. Housing authorities need to be well funded, end vacancy decontrol and vacancy bonuses, re-regulate project-based Section 8 and Mitchell-Lama, etc.

What would you do to address the homelessness in New York State?

Factors that lead to homelessness—growing income inequality and unemployment, rent deregulation, and skyrocketing real estate—need to be addressed. We need to support and initiate programs to prevent homelessness and to get people off the streets. This can be done through democratic processes at the state to local levels. There are cost benefits of ensuring that everyone in our communities have their basic needs met, and it is just the right thing to do.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

I believe elections are rigged by our pay-to-play campaign-finance system. Under the current system, private interests are able to, in essence, buy elections. It undermines true democratic principles. In its place, we need a public campaign-finance system that provides for equitable platforms for campaigning.


Michael Volpe—Independent

https://www.minerforny.com/

What is your position on rent regulation, what work have you done in the past to further that position, and if elected, what would you do in 2019?

Mayor Miner and I believe that people are healthier and more productive when they have a stable, predictable housing situation, which is always at risk when costs increase for tenants and landlords. I support her position on rent regulation, and believe we need to work with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure housing is not a barrier to economic opportunity.

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the New York City Housing Authority, and how would you address it?

Even in the face of a federal consent decree, our elected leaders are more interested in playing political games than providing safe, stable housing for New Yorkers. Political expediency and kicking the can down the road have led to shortfalls in revenue needed to provide adequate service or meet long-term capital needs. We will hold the authority accountable for improving performance and finding new sources of revenue that put NYCHA residents first for a change.

Do you believe that there is a need for more affordable housing in New York, and if so, what would you do to meet that need?

A third of New York City renters pay more than half their income for housing, which weakens the region’s economic vitality. That money cannot contribute to the goods and services that are our economy’s lifeblood. As mayor of Pelham, I passed legislation promoting mixed-use housing in business districts to support young families, seniors, and others being shut out of our communities. We will work with all stakeholders to ensure a housing market that works for everyone.

What would you do to address the homelessness in New York State?

In the greatest state in the greatest country in the world, the amount of homelessness in New York is an embarrassment, and solving it is a priority. We will focus on a combination of poverty reduction and housing efforts to attack the issue from both sides, and build on the work Mayor Miner pioneered in Syracuse that led to that city being one of the first in the U.S. to end veteran homelessness.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

Mayor Miner and I are the only candidates in the race whose constituency is ALL New Yorkers. Albany’s history of self-dealing, indictments, and convictions proves we need something as radically simple as swearing off the outsized influence of a few wealthy donors and directing resources to where they will do the most good. We will close the LLC loophole and prohibit campaign contributions from those doing, or seeking to do, business with state government.