ELIZABETH — City officials were a final vote away Tuesday from rolling back a $20 cap on rent increases for the first time in 30 years, which tenant advocates called “potentially devastating.”

If passed, the ordinance being considered by the Elizabeth City Council would revert to a 3% cap on base rent increases under the city’s existing rent control and stabilization regulations.

Current rent control regulations, as a whole, would be extended by two years to at least the end of 2024, under the same proposed ordinance.

Make the Road NJ slammed the planned removal of the three-decades long, $20 rent hike cap amid inflation and “astronomically” rising rents.

The immigrants rights organization planned a rally outside city hall on Tuesday, ahead of the City Council’s meeting conference.

Make the Road NJ at previous Elizabeth City Council meeting (courtesy Make the Road NJ) 2
Make the Road NJ at previous Elizabeth City Council meeting (courtesy Make the Road NJ)

Renter-occupied units make up 74% of the local housing market, according to point2homes.com, which also listed an apartment's average monthly rent as roughly $1,500.

About a third of apartments for rent in Elizabeth already were priced closer to $2,000 a month, the same site said, while a single-family home for rent goes for around $2,446 a month.

That range was echoed by Zumper, which said that as of Dec. 3, average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Elizabeth was $1,650.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

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