North Bergen freezes rent increases until September

The moratorium comes after officials made similar moves in Union City

Mayor Sacco speaks as Police Chief Fasilis is sworn in, while social distancing.
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Mayor Sacco speaks as Police Chief Fasilis is sworn in, while social distancing.

North Bergen residents coping with the COVID-19 pandemic now have one less thing to worry about: rent increases.

The North Bergen Board of Commissioners and Mayor Nicholas Sacco have adopted an ordinance enacting a moratorium on rent increases during the ongoing pandemic.

The ordinance prevents landlords from increasing rent on rent-controlled properties within the township, including charges for parking, pets, or any other fees associated with the dwelling units.

The rent freeze comes after a resolution was signed during the previous Board of Commissioners meeting, urging all township landlords to refrain from raising rents and other fees. Both measures are designed to protect local renters, many of whom have suffered job or income loss due to COVID-19.

Protecting renters

“This pandemic has affected all of us in different ways,” Mayor Sacco said. “Enacting this rent freeze protects local renters during an incredibly difficult time. We will continue to do everything in our power to ease the burden on our residents, particularly the most vulnerable. Working together is the only way we can overcome this pandemic.”

The rent freeze will remain in effect until the end of the State of Emergency declared by Gov. Phil Murphy, or until September 1, 2020, whichever is earlier. However, township officials may extend the rent freeze if necessary.

In Hudson County, Union City was the first to pass a moratorium on rent followed by Hoboken and Jersey City.

“Following the moratorium on evictions by the governor, we were concerned that residents who are unable to work due to the Coronavirus pandemic would face additional financial hardships by increased rent,” Mayor Brian Stack of Union City said. “Residents are facing enough hardships with this virus; we do not need to add insult to injury by increasing their rent and creating more of a hardship for them to overcome.”

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