North Bergen extends rent freeze through the end of the year

The moratorium will be reassessed after Dec. 31.

During to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many residents have faced financial issues due to job loss or loss of income. In many Hudson County municipalities, rent increases were frozen to help residents cope.

In North Bergen, Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners have extended the moratorium on rent increases.

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The Board of Commissioners met via Zoom on Oct. 21 and voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance continuing the moratorium. The ordinance extends the rent increases moratorium until Dec. 31, when the moratorium will be reassessed.

“We’re being consistent with everyone around us,” Sacco said.

Protecting local renters

The township first adopted an ordinance establishing a moratorium on rent increases on May 13.

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

The rent freeze came after a resolution was signed during the April 22 commissioners meeting, urging all township landlords to refrain from raising rents and other fees.

In July, the commissioners adopted an ordinance that extended the moratorium to Nov. 1. As the date approaches, North Bergen is set to protect renters through the end of the year.

“This pandemic has affected all of us in different ways,” Sacco said in May. “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.”

Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order in March placing a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures that would prevent tenants from being removed from their homes. The eviction moratorium will last until two months after Murphy declares an end to the COVID-19 health crisis. If Murphy does not extend the official public health emergency on Oct. 26, the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures will cease at the end of December.

Eviction court proceedings have been halted by the New Jersey Supreme Court due to COVID-19. Landlords can still file eviction complaints against tenants, though trials will be held only for emergencies.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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