⚫ Huge rent increases are being reported in some parts of New Jersey

⚫ A housing advocacy group wants NJ lawmakers to put protections in place

⚫ Some NJ families are being forced from their rental homes

Inflation has finally started to cool down but in many parts of New Jersey rents are continuing to shoot through the roof.

The problem has gotten so bad that one housing advocacy organization is now calling on the state Legislature to immediately address the situation.

According to Matthew Hersh, director of policy & advocacy for the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, rents in many Garden State communities have started increasing dramatically.

The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is a statewide association of more than 275 community development corporations and other organizations that support affordable housing.

Rents raised by 40%

He said in some instances landlords may be looking to recoup pandemic-related expenses from such things as supply chain disruptions and management costs but “any time you see a 20%, 30%, 40% increase in rent, those are bad reasons to raise rent because no person, low income or otherwise would be able to reasonably manage that type of rental increase.”

He said the network is calling on the state Legislature to address the current rental market concerns by implementing stronger protections for the state’s 1.2 million renter households.

“The problem goes beyond what we feel is unconscionable, we feel that the state, as the steward of 3 million renters statewide needs to put in guardrails that protect tenants.”

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Some towns enacting rent control

“There are towns with high renter percentages who may have not had rent control previously that are passing their own rent control standards because the state does not have any kind of guardrail or guideline," Hersh said.

He pointed out New Jersey towns frequently set their own standards and limits on many issues.

“For rental protections however, we think it is imperative that the state take the lead and really set the standard so all towns can follow suit, we know rents are increasing and it’s causing either displacement or unconscionable hardship on tenants.”

Staci Berger, the president and chief executive officer of the network, said the rent increases being reported “are doing real harm to families struggling to make ends meet."

"New Jersey officials can make sure our most vulnerable residents are safely and stably housed by taking immediate action to prevent unconscionable and predatory rent hikes," she said.  “New Jersey renters are not ATMs for pandemic profiteering landlords."

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According to a new Zillow report, New Jersey is the 7th most expensive place in the nation for renters with Hudson County being the most expensive.

For the state’s more affordable counties, there is little relief. The report finds one of the few counties with typical rents below $2,000 saw the biggest spike. Atlantic County went from $1,264 pre-pandemic to $1,766.


David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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