On the Issues

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Housing

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Our residents deserve access to affordable housing. As our city changes, none of our residents should be forced into poor living conditions or left without a home.

Helal’s goals for City Council District 32:

  • Preserve affordable housing.
  • Repeal Urstadt and bring “home rule” for housing laws back to the NYC council, not the state legislature.
  • Stop the loss of rent-stabilized and rent-controlled apartments by repealing high income and vacancy decontrol, and take steps to restore the apartments already lost.
  • Keep remaining affordable units and preserve Mitchell-Lama and section 8 buildings. When Mitchell-Lama commitments expire, convert those living spaces into rent-stabilized apartments.
  • Offer stronger incentives, such as property tax exemptions and abatements, for developers to build affordable housing.
  • Create permanent affordability on housing projects through increased tax abatements.
  • Reform rent-setting policies in a manner that suits both tenants and landlords.
  • Assist small landlords in providing safe and affordable housing.
  • Address the separate needs of small landlords and homeowners, and large, multiple homeowners.
  • Assist homeowners in reducing costs and avoiding overcharges by educating them on their tax assessments and other bills.
  • Help homeowners to pay down city liens and tax bills so they can keep their homes.
  • Educate senior homeowners on necessary homeownership tasks and ensure they are not taken advantage of by scam artists.

Community Development

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Helal supports a diverse community that is strong socially, culturally, and economically. He believes in a community where people have a voice and are involved in important decisions that affect where they live. Helal supports a strong involvement of the public and community board, and will work to promote development in jobs, commerce and affordable housing.

Education and Youth Services

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New York City’s future is in the hands of the youth, and they need a strong foundation in education. We must find ways to reorder our budget and make education the first priority.

Helal’s goals for City Council District 32:

  • Protect the Department of Education from harsh cuts and reductions.
  • Fight for valuable resources to remain in public schools in areas where charter schools also operate.
  • Provide access to afterschool educational programs for children where they can learn new skills and receive tutoring and assistance with homework.
  • Prioritize music, art and athletics by offering local programs in these areas.     
  • Support programs like SYEP that help youth gain experience through summer jobs.
  • Make health education a priority, and ensure healthy food is available to our students.
  • Offer kosher and Halal food to students with religious backgrounds in public schools.

Seniors

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We have a great responsibility to care for our elders. We must ensure that certain opportunities and services will be available to them in retirement.

Helal’s goals for City Council District 32:

  • Increase funding for senior housing programs and senior centers.
  • Help seniors lower their cost of living by increasing funding for appropriate programs, such as the Heat Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE).

Environment

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Our city should be green, healthy and efficient.

Helal’s goals for City Council District 32:

  • Make recycling waste easier and more efficient, improving the health of our community and saving the city money.
  • Support new programs that help reduce air pollution in an effort to lower the number of asthma diagnoses in NYC children.

Health

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Our community cannot function without the good health of its members. With higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and cancer, we need to work harder on prevention.

Helal’s goals for City Council District 32:

  • Improve the quality of vegetables and fruits in schools.
  • Use our exercise programs as a way to conquer childhood obesity.
  • Encourage early testing for cancer.
  • Improve local parks and outdoor spaces so that people have access to clean and safe areas for exercise and recreation.

Small Business

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Small businesses are the backbone of our community. Now more than ever, we must support the small businesses that help Council District 32 thrive, including those located in Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Rockaway Park, Roxbury, South Ozone Park, West Hamilton Beach, Woodhaven

Helal’s goals for City Council District 32:

  • Serve as an advocate for small business at the city level.
  • Expand existing programs that help small businesses, such as MWBE.
  • Support new job sectors in Brooklyn.