Housing is a human right, and all New Yorkers should have access to safe, affordable and consistent housing. Yet this right is not currently adequately protected, leading to housing insecurity, homelessness and far too many families paying more in rent than they can afford. We need action in City Hall and Albany to better guarantee all residents the housing they deserve.
As a general principle, housing built as affordable should stay affordable, forever. City taxpayers should never be forced to subsidize luxury housing; public land converted to residential real estate should be 100% affordable; no one should be evicted without legitimate cause; and neighborhoods need additional units at every income level to make truly diverse and sustainable communities. As a Council Member, Tricia will work to stabilize and increase affordable housing and close housing loopholes that developers exploit. She will advocate for zoning reform that prioritizes community-led development and will fight for the full funding that NYCHA desperately needs and deserves.
Tricia will prioritize the following agenda:
Housing stability is critical for mental and physical health, economic opportunity, and educational achievement. Tricia is committed to passing and implementing measures that provide rental assistance to tenants at risk of eviction, support for homeless individuals and families, and extend eviction moratoriums.
Tenant Education and Protection
Many New York City renters are often vulnerable to the predatory practices of landlords and do not know about their legal protections and rights. As a City Council Member, Tricia will provide housing clinics and educational forums, as well as mobile office hours with a housing attorney to increase access to legal resources. Further, she will expand Right to Counsel so all New Yorkers, regardless of income or Zip Code, have access to a lawyer when facing eviction or are denied necessary repairs.
Advocating for Stronger Rent Regulations in Albany
Many of the laws which protect tenants are under the authority of the state legislature, and our next Council Member must have the relationships and the understanding to fight for our rights in Albany. Having earned the endorsements of both Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright, Tricia will work with our state leaders both in our community and in Albany to push for the strong enforcement of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act and expanding regulations that keep housing accessible for New York residents:
New York City needs a comprehensive, long-term investment in building a new generation of truly affordable housing for New Yorkers. As a member of the City Council, Tricia will work to reform and expand housing subsidy and voucher programs, providing real assistance to renters. To expand affordable low- and middle-income units, she will fight for increasing our housing stock through legalizing basement apartments and accessory dwelling units, recommitting to Mitchell-Llama housing for working families, and reducing rents for rent-stabilized tenants.
Expanding Housing Subsidy Programs
Tricia will fight to expand existing housing subsidy programs, including Section 8 and CITYFHEPS, and create new rental subsidy programs in order to eliminate housing insecurity for New Yorkers receiving assistance. Multiple reforms are needed to improve how programs like Section 8 function. Tricia will support measures at the City, State, and Federal level to extend apartment search times, shorten waiting lists, and end voucher discrimination. She will push NYS Homes and Community Renewal and NYCHA to expand the portability of vouchers, improve how Fair Market Rents are set, and provide resources to address the financial barriers to renting in higher-cost neighborhoods (including security deposits and application fees). Tricia will also support passage of Intro 146, which would increase CITYFHEPS voucher amounts to reflect actual market rents in the city.
Making the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program Work For Affordability
We must reform the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program to push developers to meet actual housing needs - not market demand. The definition of "affordability," which relies on calculations of Area Median Income (AMI), must be updated to reflect the rents actual residents can afford to pay, and the application of MIH should be expanded. Tricia will fight to provide housing for residents of all income levels, including those making less than 30% of the AMI.
As a longtime member of the community board, Tricia has watched how current zoning laws and neighborhood rezoning efforts have favored for-profit developers, incentivized gentrification, and allowed unequal distribution of density and affordable housing between neighborhoods. Tricia is committed to reforms that will increase legitimate community engagement and ensure that development is equitable across neighborhoods. As a member of the City Council, she will support measures that expand the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) and enact comprehensive planning measures, all with robust community input.
Bringing The Entire Community To Public Meetings
Tricia plans to work with the Department of City Planning to make community meetings more accessible, including providing childcare, changing meeting times, and making virtual participation an option post-pandemic.
NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in the country, managing over 164,000 occupied apartments. We must ensure that those living in public housing are provided with healthy living spaces, speedy repairs, and accountable leadership. While there are over 210,000 prospective tenants on NYCHA waiting lists, there have not been more than 450 vacant apartments over the last calendar year. Tricia will fight for much-needed funding to improve current NYCHA housing and provide more affordable units across the city.
Funding & Reforming NYCHAThe chronic neglect of NYCHA has caused residents to suffer from deplorable conditions that too often make it impossible to stay healthy and keep families safe. In District 5, our NYCHA residents regularly lose access to hot water for days and suffer through pest infestations, hallway fires, broken elevators, and a lack of heat and lighting. This cannot continue, and we must hold NYCHA leadership accountable. Tenants deserve a reformed ticketing and repairs process so they aren't forced to navigate unsafe living conditions for months on end. Tricia will support measures that will force NYCHA leadership to be more responsive to tenants, more accountable in repairs, and more transparent on land use proposals. She will prioritize funding for NYCHA maintenance and repairs, awarding contracts to responsible, unionized entities that have a proven record of success, and reforming internal processes to create more accountability and transparency.
While the City’s ultimate goal must be to provide permanent, affordable housing for all New Yorkers, we cannot ignore the present issues with our shelter system. The city must increase our supply of stable, supportive housing to address the intersecting problems of homelessness, including mental health crises, economic insecurity and unemployment. Tricia will strongly advocate for reforms to PATH (Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing) that will make it easier to apply for housing. She will call for a streamlined application process so that it does not take longer than a day to apply for housing. She will fight to increase social and mental health services at PATH and create a more family-centered approach to the intake process. She will also advocate for expanded food options, increased access to menstrual products, child counseling services, and remote education resources so that homeless children can continue to engage with their studies. It is time that we treat homeless community members with dignity and respect.