To the Editor:
I reference your recent article titled: “More for tenant$ to pay… New data shows rent increases across NJ.” This article is truly misleading for two reasons especially because of the headlines:
1) When reviewing the data that you quoted, it is clear that the study did not take in consideration that most of the apartment buildings being built in recent years provide luxury apartments. Since luxury apartments require a much higher rent, this alone will cause average rents to be much higher.
2) Moderate income government rent subsidized apartments are being replaced with market rent apartments, and our elected officials are doing almost nothing to replace those lost.
Not mentioning these two facts will not give a full explanation of why the results conclude rent averages have increased.
My office is proactive, so the public will receive the correct information on policy and the effects of policy. For example, in Jersey City there is gossip, which may come true, if the public continues not to be properly informed. Some Jersey City officials are persuading the public that the solution to halting gentrification is to put rent control on all residential units. Because of this, a change in new construction is taking hold. In the last few months, more than 20 two- or three- family buildings have either been converted to condos or new construction of two- or three- family buildings have been built as condos in Jersey City. That is almost 100 moderate income apartments disappearing in a short time. Ironically, this same kind of gossip was in Hoboken in the late 1980s to solve the gentrification problem. However, it only sped up gentrification in Hoboken.
Gossip and misleading articles on real estate will only establish ineffective governmental policies. On top of that, our local officials in Hudson County are expressing their concern about gentrification and they surly are concerned how gentrification will affect them on Election Day with all those new voters.
JOSEPH W. HOTTENDORF
Liberty Board of REALTORS