With Governor Murphy announcing a 90-day grace period on mortgage payments for New Jersey homeowners, renters may be wondering “what about us?”
Well, on Saturday afternoon the Governor addressed that issue. The Governor sent out a tweet warning landlords that evictions for renters will not be tolerated during the coronavirus pandemic. “To any renter facing eviction, let me be clear –under an executive order your landlord cannot kick you out of your home during this emergency. For any landlord who is getting mortgage relief today — we expect you will in turn provide similar relief to your tenants.”
The Governor went on to say, “To every landlord — now is a time to show some compassion, and to work with your renters to ensure they stay safe. You cannot evict anyone at this time. If you try to, we’re not going to take that lightly, and we will make an example out of you for violating the law.”
Governor Murphy is directing tenants who need rental assistance to visit covid19.nj.gov and search for “rental assistance.” You will see a link to the resources available through @NJDCA.
Hudson TV did what the Governor suggests. While I found a detailed explanation titled, “What housing and rental assistance and mortgage relief is available for New Jerseyans? Are there protections for eviction or foreclosure?,” I was unable to find any specific answers with regard to rental evictions, other than the statement saying they were not permitted at this time.
Many people are tweeting that the rental assistance hubs are closed and are not accepting applications. One person tweeted that both Section 8 and SRAP are closed and not accepting applications.
Another states that rental assistance programs have an income requirement, and asks, how do these help if you lost your job due to the COVID-19 crisis and you now have no income?
These are all legitimate questions.
Maybe a further explanation needs to come from Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.