“For homeowners, they say we have to make sure this all gets set up right away. But if you are a renter, there’s not really a [recovery] center for you. ‘We’ll get to you eventually.’ “
As though to prove the point, the Department of Community Affairs – whose commissioner, Richard Constable, held media conference calls to detail programs to distribute federal aid to homeowners – took more than 24 hours to respond to a request for information on programs aimed at renters.
The answer? “There is no additional information on the assistance programs for renters at this time,” spokesperson Tammori Petty said.
Gordon said the goal of stabilizing blue-collar Shore communities was in jeopardy if the state did not also find a way to keep displaced and priced-out renters in those year-round neighborhoods. “
They’re giving out $10,000 grants for homeowners to stay in their communities,” Gordon said. “There’s nothing like that for renters. The landlords are raising rents because of a shortage of rental housing after Sandy. More people are becoming displaced.”
There is resistance on the part of landlords because the rentals are for two years,” Berger said. “Once the subsidy goes away, the burden is on the landlord to evict” renters who cannot afford the market-rate rent. “The demand is so strong; the rents are so strong. The incentive is not enough.”