Housing

“We are made strong by our diversity. Preserving and creating affordable housing is critical to promoting this diversity by ensuring seniors can stay here, young people can start here and the middle class can prosper. Hard working New Yorkers who built their neighborhoods, lived there for years must be able to continue to live here.”

  • Robert’s Record:
    • Provided assistance and grants to community groups like Community League of the Heights and Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement to protect affordable housing and provide housing code enforcement, tenant education and advocacy and tenant organization;
    • Helped Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp and West Harlem Group Assistance to implement a grassroots-based approach to protect affordable housing; and Palante Harlem, Legal Services NYC and the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp to fund ant-eviction legal services, tenant harassment protection and advocacy;
    • Sponsored important legislation including a bill that would require every apartment building in New York City to have a summary of basic tenants' rights posted in the lobby and handed to every tenant along with their lease; Resolution 700 in 2011 calling upon the New York State Legislature to renew and strengthen rent regulations and eviction protection; Intro 436 to require building-wide remediation of asthma-triggering housing code violations; and Intro 90 in 2010 to provide legal counsel for senior citizens facing eviction or foreclosure proceedings.
    • Worked to build new affordable housing including championing the Sugar Hill Project that will offer 124 apartments for low-income or previously homeless families and an early education center for preschoolers and the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem Project to renovate a school building that had been vacant for over a decade to provide 86 units for low income families and individuals.
    • Worked daily with tenants in his district to deal with their housing issues including supporting start up tenant organizations, personally knocking on doors of TIL tenants who were about to lose property, calling and reaching out to seniors one-by-one concerning their SCRIE applications, helping building tenants fight back against slumlords and following up with tenants displaced by fire or other emergencies.
  • Robert’s Agenda:
    • Repeal the Urstadt Law which limits the ability of the City Council to strengthen rent regulations;
    • Repeal vacancy decontrol;
    • Continue the freeze on NYC’s one million rent stabilized apartments;
    • Expand rent subsidies for veterans, the elderly and disabled;
    • Stop out-of-context luxury developments like Sherman Plaza that will cause gentrification and displacement;
    • Pass S05040 to protect Rent Control tenants from our exorbitant increases;
    • Require Mitchell-Lama apartments which leave the program to enter the rent stabilization program;
    • Give tenants more information and better support and protections when they are mistreated or displaced by greedy landlords;
    • Better survey vacant housing and put it to use as affordable housing;
    • Require coop and condo sponsors to sell apartments that become vacant in converted buildings rather than rent them at unregulated rates;
    • Encourage the use of public pension funds to build affordable housing.

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