Housing Platform

Housing is a universal human right guaranteed under the New York State Constitution. Everyone in Brooklyn, regardless of age, race, gender, employment status, citizenship, or socioeconomic status, should have access to affordable and safe housing options. Yet, our communities are in trauma and housing inequities between different groups persist due to historic redlining, legislative restrictions favoring landlords over tenants, systemic racism, money laundering in real estate, high rates of homelessness for people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, disproportionate influence of real estate investment firms and corporate landlords on rents and housing policy, and environmental threats, among other causes.  

The current housing and real estate system is inherently inequitable, encourages discrimination, and is a critical barrier to adequate housing and generational wealth building, putting vulnerable New Yorkers at risk of homelessness.

Local governments must address the inadequacies and inequities of our current housing system with solutions grounded in transparency of distribution and pricing, accountability of elected officials to protect the housing rights of the people they represent, and equitable provision of essential housing services, especially for marginalized New Yorkers. New Kings Democrats (NKD) recognizes that equitable housing and outcomes are a basic matter of social justice and essential to a functioning democracy and therefore advocates for all New Yorkers to be able to live without being unduly burdened by the cost of living.

NKD will:

  • Ask candidates seeking NKD endorsement for City or State office if the candidate accepts donations from real estate interests.
  • Ask whether candidates support state legislation prohibiting the eviction of residential tenants or non-renewal of residential leases without good cause.
  • Request that every candidate seeking NKD’s endorsement for City or State office explain how they would maintain or improve housing affordability in their district and, for City Council candidates, how they would approach Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) decisions to approve new developments with affordable housing. 
  • Support candidates that prioritize policies to expand tenant rights, increase transparency in NYCHA, support unhoused New Yorkers, afford every individual a safe place to live, and enhance equity in the distribution of housing.
  • Ask candidates about housing issues during the endorsement interview, with the expectation that candidates have an understanding of the disparities that exist in the availability of housing, and that they know about the specifics of the housing issues impacting the community they seek to represent.
  • Encourage the Brooklyn Democratic Party to take a more active role in the protection of tenant rights and the equitable distribution of housing.

More broadly, NKD will support housing policies and legislation that: 

  • Are in furtherance of universal rent control, such as good cause eviction and enhancing democratic processes at the Rent Guidelines Board.
  • Provide housing that is actually affordable to individuals and families of all income levels, including minimum wage and unemployed people.
  • Help residents at times of their greatest needs through vouchers, assistance, and the opportunity to purchase their unit when their building is sold.
  • Promote housing opportunities that are resident-controlled, publicly-funded, deeply affordable, universal, beautiful, and available to all New Yorkers.
  • Support unhoused or at risk New Yorkers with money to pay their rent.
  • Increase funding and transparency in the management of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) properties.
  • Penalize landlords in rent stabilized buildings who intentionally warehouse units left as vacant.
  • Adequately fund tenant services organizations, as well as the entity charged with enforcing rent laws. Currently, the Department of Homes and Community Renewal inadequately enforces rent laws, allowing landlords to act illegally without consequence.
  • Ensure housing provided is not detrimental to the environment and health of the surrounding community.
  • Facilitate appropriate reporting of cash-based real estate purchases sourced from the proceeds of financial crime.

Our elected leaders must do more to improve housing standards and services, as Brooklyn urgently needs much greater public and private investment in affordable housing. NKD expects candidates for office to understand the disparities that exist in modern housing and be able to articulate solutions. Laws and policy proposals should be evaluated based on their housing impact on local Brooklyn communities. The social, economic, and racial challenges of Kings County are tied closely to housing policies and underrepresented communities must be at the forefront of policy and legislation.

Adopted May 2019. Last Updated February 2024. 

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