Call Today to Stop Harmful Legislation

Act Today to Remove S-489 From Committee Agenda

Act Today to Remove S-489 From Committee AgendaPlease join fellow advocates at the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) to do everything in your power to stop S-489. The bill authorizes imposition of additional fines for overcrowding.

You can:

  • Contact members of the Senate Community and Urban Affairs (SCU) Committee to oppose the bill and urge the Chair Senator Jeff Van Drew to remove it from the SCU agenda (click here for a list of Committee membership) and/or
  • Attend the Committee hearing on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 11 a.m.

As background, the following was written by the NJ Tenants’ Organization:

The bill as written:

  • Would seriously undermine the Eviction for Just Cause Law, harming all tenants in New Jersey, and would allow municipalities to punish low income tenants with huge fines, while providing a way for landlords who profit handsomely from overcrowding to avoid fines.
  • Makes illogical exceptions for certain classes of properties, while making no compassionate exceptions for family emergencies.
  • Neither deals with the cause of overcrowding (the lack of affordable housing), nor does it focus on those situations where the overcrowding is accompanied by serious health hazards, or where it causes (noise related) problems for the other tenants in the building.

It is the opinion of Monarch Housing and the NJ Tenants’ Organization that the bill will not only fail to solve the problem, it will likely make the overall situation worse.

Specifically, since overcrowding is a direct result of the crisis level lack of affordable housing, it is surprising that this bill does absolutely nothing to lessen this problem.

  • Why aren’t the fines put into an affordable housing fund?
  • Why aren’t the excessive rents collected on “illegal” apartments confiscated and dedicated to affordable housing?
  • Why are municipalities who effectively cause this problem by not providing their fair share of affordable housing within their borders being given any special rights?