HOBOKEN PROPERTY OWNERS ANNOUNCE PETITION FOR REFERENDUM THAT REFORMS RENT CONTROL WHILE FUNDING CONSTRUCTION OF NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND REDUCES TAXES

HOBOKEN PROPERTY OWNERS ANNOUNCE PETITION FOR REFERENDUM THAT REFORMS RENT CONTROL WHILE FUNDING CONSTRUCTION OF NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND REDUCES TAXES

 

Committee of Petitioners Announced Support of Referendum During Hoboken’s March 6th City Council Meeting

 

HOBOKEN, N.J., MARCH 6, 2024 – Mile Square Taxpayers Association announced its support for a Public Question (Referendum) that amends the City’s current Rent Control Ordinance during Wednesday night’s City Council meeting that featured all five members of a Committee of Petitioners who are offering the new law.

The Petition for Referendum proposes an amendment to the existing ordinance giving property owners the added option to pay a $2,500 fee to Hoboken’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund for the exclusive use of building new, affordable housing units in the City. The Committee is required to obtain 1,341 signatures in its petition campaign and when certified, the amendment will go to the public for a special election unless the Council can compromise with the Committee of Petitioners.

The $2,500 per-unit contribution to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund would allow property owners to reset rents following a voluntary vacancy, curing a flawed amendment to the ordinance the City Council passed in 2023 – an amendment the Council later corrected by passing an additional amendment with both property owner and tenant advocate support – but was then vetoed by Mayor Bhalla.

“Hoboken’s current Rent Control regime – from a convoluted Ordinance to a runaway Rent Leveling Board with an understaffed office – has been a disaster for years and it is only getting worse,” said Ron Simoncini, Mile Square Taxpayers Association Executive Director.  “It’s also a source of extreme frustration for people who need affordable housing and are told the rent control ordinance will provide it, only to find that even underpriced apartments do not go to people who need subsidies, they just give discounts to people who don’t seek or need them.

“The Committee’s proposed amendment fixes that, by providing a dedicated revenue source for the Trust Fund to build new affordable housing, but also provides much needed tax relief to Hoboken’s residents.  There is no reason a person who makes $100,000 or more a year should be living in a rent-controlled, taxpayer-subsidized apartment AND at the same time impose rent control on condominium owners whose apartment values are compromised because they fall under rent control.  Over the last 20 years, rent-controlled units in Hoboken have decreased from about 12,000 units to 8,000 units – and that trend will continue through condo-conversion and other means, taking units off the market. The rent-control environment is too hostile for property owners – they’re selling and leaving.”

In the proposed amendment, after a tenant voluntarily vacates a unit and the property owner voluntarily contributes $2,500 to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the rent for a new tenant is agreed on at a freely negotiated rate – after which the unit is thereafter subject to all existing provisions of Hoboken’s Rent Control Ordinance.

Single-family and condominium owners are further harmed by rent control because rent controlled-property owners have reduced revenues that lead to reduced property taxes – and the tax burden then gets shifted to single family and condo owners.

“While Hoboken has an existing Affordable Housing Trust Fund and passed an Ordinance that anticipates new affordable housing being constructed, but it acknowledges that it does not have the money to build it.  With this amendment, those $2,500 contributions combined with matching grants and municipal financing, would create funds for hundreds of affordable housing units over the next five years,” said Simoncini.

“By providing a dedicated source of income for the construction of new affordable housing – it will allow Hoboken’s Police Officers, Municipal Workers, and other City Employees the opportunity to live where they actually work,” added Simoncini.

For More information please visit: https://hobokenmsta.com/

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