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Newark to Continue Using Hotel to House Homeless Population During Pandemic

Jul, 31 2020 - 10:11 am

Holiday Inn Newark Airport Hotel
The Newark Municipal Council authorized the city to lease 325 single occupancy rooms and a few other areas at the Holiday Inn Newark International Airport North on Frontage Road. Image courtesy of IHG.

The City of Newark will continue to lease hundreds of rooms in a local hotel in order to provide housing for people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The municipal government of New Jersey’s largest city was authorized by the Newark Municipal Council to lease 325 single occupancy rooms and a few other areas at the Holiday Inn Newark International Airport North on Frontage Road. A new ordinance states that the rooms are being leased “in order to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the homeless, senior population and any other vulnerable population.”

The ordinance, which was adopted on July 8 and certified on July 17, states that Newark’s purchasing agent and the company that owns the hotel previously entered into two lease agreements covering from April 6 through June 24. This ordinance will cover the lease from June 25 to September 1, allowing for up to $1,616,325 in rent payments.

A copy of the latest lease agreement that was posted by the municipal government states that this rapid rental housing service will be for “non-COVID-19 positive patients only” who need to shelter in place. It adds that three additional rooms are being provided at no cost for police officers from the Newark Department of Public Safety “for the purpose of providing them with a place to rest” and that the hotel owner will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day for up to 325 people.

The hotel is situated next to Northern State Prison across Interstate 78 and Routes 1 and 9 from Newark Liberty International Airport. It was previously known as the Ramada Plaza Newark Airport before undergoing a rebranding at the end of 2019.

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Jersey City Expanding Free Showers and Food Services to Homeless Amid Covid-19

Mar, 25 2020 - 01:04 pm

Jersey City, Mayor Fulop, and health officials announced today efforts to help the city’s vulnerable homeless population.

In a press release, the city said, “The city is increasing humanitarian efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic by expanding life-saving services for the homeless – including the reopening of free public showers, supplying meals and personal hygiene kits to support them, while also assisting the county to secure temporary housing for the homeless to self-quarantine.”

“We have witnessed how COVID-19 has had a devastating impact around the world on all of us, but when you think of those who have the least in society, they are even more vulnerable during this crisis,” Mayor Fulop said. “We all are pulling together to normalize our lives in this unprecedented challenge of our times, but the only way we will succeed is if we look out for those who need help the most, and leave no one behind.”

Read the full release here: Jersey City Protecting Most Needy: Expanding Free Showers and Food Services amid Covid-19 State of Emergency

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New Jersey Begins Releasing Low-Risk Inmates Due to Coronavirus

Mar, 24 2020 - 02:08 pm

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is changing societies at rapid speed. Actions that were out of the question only weeks ago are now a reality. We can now add the release of low-risk inmates to the growing list of changes.

New Jersey’s chief justice of the state’s supreme court, Stuart Rabner, signed an order Sunday night to suspend or commute sentences being served by inmates as a condition of probation or a municipal court conviction, reported the New York Times.

At a presser on Monday, Governor Murphy said, “We are the only state in America doing this.”

The release of the inmates began this morning.

Jails and prisons make social distancing nearly impossible. This raises the ethical dilemma of how to protect the country’s massive incarcerated population for the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus.

Hopefully, NJ’s move inspires other states to protect their vulnerable inmate populations.

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Feds Take Steps to Soften Blow to Renters, Landlords from COVID-19

Mar, 24 2020 - 02:06 pm

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced plans that aim to protect landlords and tenants during the COVID-19 crisis.

The move orders government-run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage companies to provide mortgage forbearance to any landlord “negatively affected by the coronavirus national emergency.”

However, the option to utilize the line of support rests on the individual landlord. Per the Wall Street Journal, “While the move provides a measure of relief to building owners across the country, it will only protect renters from evictions if their landlord asks for the forbearance.”

Federal Government Moves to Protect Apartment Owners, Tenants

Financially strapped apartment landlords with government-backed mortgages can avoid foreclosure if they don’t evict tenants, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said Monday. The order applies to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage companies, which will extend mortgage forbearance to any landlord “negatively affected by the coronavirus national emergency,” according to the agency.

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