Where Do The Brooklyn Borough President Candidates Stand on Housing?


This summer, Brooklynites will cast their votes for the next Borough President. The Borough President mostly serves as an ambassador for the borough with a direct line to the mayor or governor to discuss issues affecting residents, but they also:

  • have a say in land use;
  • appoint members to various panels and councils;
  • propose legislation;
  • control 5% of the city’s annual discretionary capital budget each year.

One critical issue Brooklyn is facing is affordable housing, and residents are turning to our elected officials and candidates running for election for a plan of action. Below are all the candidates running for Brooklyn Borough President and their stance on housing, according to their official campaign websites. We’ve included links to each candidate’s platform, so you can learn more about them and become an informed voter before going to the polls on June 22nd.

  • Robert Cornegy (D) – Cornegy’s eight-point affordable housing plan includes a moratorium on rents and tax lien extensions, expanding the Accessory Dwelling Unit (basement apartment) program, and creating long term sustainable housing solutions while combating hunger.
  • Kim Council (D) – Council’s stance is broken down into affordable housing (60% affordable housing for residential development projects going through ULURP; extensive community input; increase scope of impact of proposed zoning changes), NYCHA (pressure every level of government to fully support NYCHA), and home ownership (creating more resources and programs while advocating to abolish the tax lien sale).
  • Khari Edwards (D) – Edwards believes that “an 80/20 split is not enough affordable housing and must be better balanced to meet Brooklyn’s real needs” and is pushing for “an increase of more units for families, meaning 3+ bedrooms.”
  • Robert Elstein (D) – Elstein promises to “make new housing laws” and that New York City “can solve the housing crisis and the rent crisis and the mortgage crisis all at once by renegotiating with the banks on behalf of the landlords.” His statement also touches on educational problems as a result of housing segregation and the fact that affordable housing laws haven’t been updated in five decades.
  • Mathieu Eugene (D) – Eugene is running for borough president but has no website or platforms available.
  • Pearlene Fields (D) – According to Fields, “one of the reasons I’m running for office is because I’ve been homeless and I understand how difficult it is to find and keep housing that is actually affordable.” She offers a twelve point plan—one of the most detailed of all the candidates—that encompasses “fixing” the affordable housing lottery (which she thinks is “a joke!”), overcrowded shelters, NYCHA improvements, housing laws, and first time home buyer programs.
  • Anthony T. Jones (D) – As Brooklyn Borough President, Jones will “encourage approximately 1.7 million Brooklynites to be proud to live and build their homes in a less gentrified Brooklyn. To this end, [he] will work to lower property taxes to make it easier for the business and economic development of Brooklyn and the benefit of the average homeowner of Brooklyn.”
  • Shanduke McPhatter (D) – McPhatter is running for borough president but has no platforms or stances on affordable housing readily available.
  • Trisha Ocona (D) – Ocona deems herself a “Community and Housing Educator and Strategist … who has been fighting predatory housing for more than half [her] life.” Unfortunately, we scoured her website and found little information about specific platforms on the issues.
  • Menachem Raitport (R and C) – Raitport is running for borough president but has no website or platforms available.
  • Rob Ramos (D) – Ramos advocates for the expanded development of Community Land Trusts though out Brooklyn to increase homeownership, abolishing the Tax Lien Sale of homes, and enacting a rent freeze to protect renters from unnecessary evictions, as well as creating more affordable housing.
  • Antonio Reynoso (D) – Reynoso has a six point plan to “protect existing affordable housing and increase Brooklyn’s affordable housing stock,” which includes guaranteeing all tenants an attorney in housing court, providing rent relief and eviction protection to tenants affected by the pandemic, strengthening rent laws, and requiring all housing built on public land to be 100% affordable, forever.
  • JoAnne Simon (D) – According to her website, JoAnne “knows Brooklyn needs housing within reach of everyone – development that reflects, uplifts and strengthens ALL of our diverse neighborhoods.”
  • Lamor Miller Whitehead (D) – Whitehead “will make housing affordable for everyone by fighting for universal rent control … and put the people first by focusing on increasing access to affordable housing, requiring developers to provide more affordable units, and protecting renters from being priced out of neighborhoods they helped build.”

Tune into BRIC TV’s Brooklyn Borough Presidential Debate on Wednesday, May 26th at 7:00 PM and join Bernell Grier, IMPACCT Brooklyn’s Executive Director, to ask candidates Robert Cornegy, JoAnne Simon, Antonio Reynoso, Khari Edwards and Kimberly Council about one of the most pressing challenges facing Brooklyn—affordable housing—and to discuss what is priority in moving the needle on this issue. This event can be streamed on Youtube.com/BRICTV for FREE and accessed afterwards!

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