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North Bergen to extend rent increase moratorium

The rent freeze will last until Feb. 28 unless the township extends it again

Mayor Sacco helps a child pick a gift during a toy giveaway. Photo by Art Schwartz.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents have faced financial hardships 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 again moved to extend the moratorium on rent increases. The Board of Commissioners met via Zoom on Dec. 9 and introduced an ordinance continuing the moratorium.

The ordinance extends the moratorium until February 28, 2021, when the moratorium will be reassessed.

Keeping renters in mind

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.

“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.”

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 extended the moratorium to Nov. 1; in October, they extended it to Dec. 31.

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

Eviction protections

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, the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures will cease on Feb. 22.

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.