We get it. People have lost jobs. People are underemployed or unemployed. It’s tough to make ends meet.

We are in an unprecedented time where we had to put evictions and foreclosures on hold until we figured out how to get out of the mess that we put ourselves in with the insane COVID-19 shutdowns.

We also put the Constitution on hold. And now some states are coming for the CDC, including Ohio and part of Tennessee, where lawsuits are proving that an eviction ban is unconstitutional. And they’re winning.

Back in March, Gov. Murphy suspended evictions throughout the state of New Jersey. This means that, except in rare circumstances, no tenant may be removed from his or her home as a result of an eviction proceeding. Great news for tenants! Pretty lousy for landlords.

It’s always sad to hear about somebody who can’t pay his or her rent, but what about the landlord? We live in a state where landlords are thought of as wealthy, money-grabbing, powerful people who won’t miss the money if you don’t pay your rent. But the reality is most landlords in New Jersey are hard-working people who, throughout this pandemic, have been struggling to make ends meet and to feed their families the same way their tenants have.

The same way the bank gives you a grace period on a loan payment and credit cards give you grace period, we need to consider the past year a grace period here in New Jersey. And now it’s time to understand that the government cannot prevent every bad thing from happening to you. It’s tragic that this had to happen this way.

I feel horrible for people, especially families, who simply can’t find a way to pay their rent. Yes, unfortunately, some people have not been able to get back to work. But that’s what life is. A series of ups and downs. For landlords and tenants both.

The landlords have had the short end of the stick for the past year trying desperately to figure a way out of the mess the shutdowns have caused them. But now it’s time for the tenants to have to figure it out.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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