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Re: Affordable Housing rents are being increased during the pandemic.
#4
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


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Not to worry. NJ will soon be bankrupt and so will JC. As the top earners continue to leave NJ in droves, those who stay behind will have even more taxes raised on them. What a wonderful time to live in the great state of NJ!

(PS, what idiots vote FOR a tax increase during a pandemic where people are losing income? Or do we use Dominion voting machines in NJ?)

Posted on: 2020/11/30 22:20
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Re: Affordable Housing rents are being increased during the pandemic.
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Home away from home
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I believe about 29.7% on JC residents are homeowners. Just this year, Hudson County raised tax rates yet again for JC homeowners. To make matters worse, the citizens of JC also just voted an Art tax that will hit ONLY homeowners. Yes, that is 2 increases during the pandemic on the homeowners. So, don't feel special or singled out because we're all getting hit.

Posted on: 11/19 17:44
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Re: Affordable Housing rents are being increased during the pandemic.
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Why is tenants afford special consideration when taxpayers got hit with a 20 percent increase? What tenants do not pay is always pass on to the small homeowner. Taxes are services which makes no distinction between homeowner and tenant. This month on the 20th, the city will publish a list of homeowners who are behind in their tax bill. Those properties will be sold December 9th in a tax lien sale. Hoboken tax bill was for 2019, but JC is for calendar 2020.

Posted on: 11/16 1:17
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Affordable Housing rents are being increased during the pandemic.
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Below is an open letter I sent to the JC City Council yesterday regarding Affordable Housing rents still being increased during the pandemic. Please share my story in hopes that they step in to put a freeze on rents for all affected.
___

Dear Jersey City Council Members,

The raising of rents on our affordable homes during a pandemic is unjust and unconscionable.

I felt lucky to move into my Brookfield Properties owned and managed apartment in Jersey City, my hometown, after 'winning' the affordable housing lottery in 2018. I earned just enough to qualify for it based on the 2018 income requirements which ranged from $30,660 to $48,200. At the time, I was offered my one-bedroom apartment for $1092 per month after fees, which is the flat rate no matter where you fell in the income range.

Less than three years later, I count myself lucky to be earning the same income after returning to work from a three month furlough while many others find themselves in worse situations. However, I am made to feel like I must still catch up in order to fit into a program supposedly designed with the vision of making living in Jersey City affordable to its long-time citizens.

The uncertainty of income due to unemployment given growing infection rates are weighing heavily on a lot of families' minds. I'm sure those in affordable homes share my anguish and frustration that I did when I received a notice that my affordable rent is projected to be increased for the fourth time in three years, from the original $1092, to $1195, to $1320, and now projected to $1370 per month - a 20.2% increase.

Brookfield Properties coldly cited affordable housing guidelines when I pleaded against the untimely and aggressive rent increase. Meanwhile, their website advertises three free months of rent on available market rate apartments.

Moderate income affordable housing rental rates are based on a percentage of the median income in the county. This year, the qualifying income range for my affordable home has ballooned to include incomes of $41,250 to over $60,000 per year, surpassing my income, yet I am facing a rent increase that now accounts for over half my take-home pay every month. Mind you, the rent remains the same for the person earning $41,250 as it is for someone earning $60,000. It also breaks my heart to think that if I were searching for affordable housing to continue living in Jersey City with my current income today, I wouldn't qualify. This is a problem that will get worse as Downtown Jersey City's average income increases over time while the other wards lag behind.

The pandemic has affected everyone in more ways than one, but a Fed study has shown that nearly 40% of households earning under $40,000 per year have faced job loss this year. Why is the portion of the population most susceptible to job loss and income interruption subject to rent increases in a program meant to benefit them?

To help our vulnerable neighbors struggling to pay rent on affordable homes, I propose you act quickly to put a freeze on affordable rents until the pandemic is over and people have a chance to get back on their feet. Additionally, I encourage you to explore a sliding scale of rents based on qualifying incomes so those on the bottom end can still have an opportunity to save so they can break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. And since there are likely others like myself who have fallen behind the income requirements, I ask you to explore a rent stabilization to limit egregious increases in the future.

To avoid a home search and a move - a stressful and costly experience even outside a pandemic - I have no choice but to accept this increase and give an entire paycheck to my landlord every month. I'm afraid I'm delaying the inevitable move I'll be forced to make if I receive a notice next year telling me that I can no longer afford my affordable home.

As it stands, do you think affordable housing is affordable? I ask you to please strongly consider placing a freeze on affordable rents until this historic pandemic is over.

Posted on: 11/14 19:33
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