N.J. Renters Could Get Relief Under Proposed COVID-19 Assistance Bill

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New Jersey State House
New Jersey State House. Photo via visitnj.org.

While the Federal government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to ease financial pain as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, New Jersey’s state legislators are looking to pass a bill that could help tenants that are struggling to pay their rents.


Earlier this week, the State Senate introduced and unanimously passed the 2020 New Jersey Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The purpose of the endeavor is to assist residential tenants who have experienced financial setbacks due to coronavirus in satisfying their rental obligations.

The bill would create a $100 million fund for renters that would be paid for first by using federal grants from the coronavirus relief bill, with the remaining amount coming from the state’s general fund. The program would operate under the New Jersey Homeless Prevention Program and the Commissioner of Community would administer this fund in accordance with existing regulations.

To qualify for assistance, renters would have to prove that they are unable to make rental payments for reasons that are “beyond the household’s control” and related to the COVID-19 outbreak. A renter doesn’t need to have been served with a summons or eviction complaint to be eligible but would need to have a current annual income that is no greater than the upper limit of “medium income.”

That threshold varies depending on what part of New Jersey an applicant lives in, but qualified tenants cannot make more than 120% of their county’s median family income as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. If a renter’s application is approved, a Homelessness Prevention Program Agency would need to verify with the landlord the amount of rent due and the state would then pay the landlord directly.

The bill, officially called S-2332, would allow the Department of Community Affairs Commissioner to give priority to low and moderate-income residents. It will now be put to a vote by New Jersey’s State Assembly, who haven’t announced when their next voting session will be.

Governor Phil Murphy has not yet commented on the legislation but if he were to sign it into law following the Assembly’s approval, the bill, as currently written, would take effect immediately.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. What’s upsetting is that the officials are stating to stay home but deny us unemployment if we voluntarily have to leave work!!! Iam a single mom of 3 which one is a newborn I didn’t receive the stimulus payment and I’m behind on rent!!!! This is sad!!!

  2. Please Help the people who need Affordable Housing especially the seniors & families.
    They cant afford the security nor the deposits fore the utilities. For the Families & Seniors who have no income to pay their rent Please set up a temporary Rental Payment program

  3. Hello please help me I can’t pay my rent right now ihave 4 kids single father I can’t be and the street with them the covid19 put me home know work all car bills .electric bills. Rent bills all the bills coming at the same time please i need help right now . even stimulus check i don’t receive it

  4. No money no way to get an unemploymentcclaim put into the system. Wait I g for the 13 week extension not one penny to my name for over four weeks and no way to work what is goin to happen to someone like me no rent money how more months can I survive with nothing to eat snap application sitting in the system for 3 weeks says is being looked at what do I do

  5. I need help ..i have a small business but couldn’t get nay grant and disaster loan and ppp loan. Government ordered to closed nail salon. It is the time for season of my business. Gov. Loans program Never get chance of Penney. Owner is not allow to get unemployment either. So only got stimulus check .
    Cant forward house rent.another rent for store . Double. Utilities . And loose whole house income from my besiness. Im so hard situation.

  6. Hello my name is Robert I have to break my lease six months into the lease I cannot afford to continue under these conditions due to coronavirus my landlord is willing to take my security deposit One and a half months of my rent to Compensate for my last months rent now they Want Me to pay two months of rent because I have to leave the apartment cannot afford it anymore I have to move in with family at this time because I cannot afford the rent I gave them proper notice now they’re looking to charge me a lease break fee two months worth of rent is the charge they excepted my security deposit which was one and a half months rent for the last months But they are contradicting themselves because now they want a lease break fee of two months rent if I can’t afford the rent and it causes me to leave prior to my lease ends and they took my security deposit for that time it’s not right for them to take a lease break fee I cannot afford it I don’t have a job anymore please help me thank you very much Robert

  7. Iam out on temporary disability and want to go back to work but iam waitress I worked all my life never asked for a dime but I need help to pay my rent iam 64 years old please help me

  8. How about having the rental property owners in ALL of NJ have rent waived at least for the summer months! We need to be less stressful and have less anxiery over these issues! Please help us!

  9. Maybe the city could dispense with the collection of real estate taxes for a few months and the landlords could dispense with the payment of rent for those who need help. Many landlords have mortgage payments as well but the mortgage companies have offered to put the payments at the end of the mortgage for 3 payments. Not sure if this is only for residential. However, what can the city do for the landlords so they can pass the help on to the tenant.

  10. I m a nurse currently home sick, no income coming in. Government ordered tenants not to pay rent my husband only income, where can I get help?

  11. Hello if their is anything rental help for South River NJ or Middlesex County. This is crazy I’m on section 8 but I still pay a portion of my rent I just got laid off from Rutgers haven’t been working since March and I can’t claim unemployment til June and I owe rent and other bills please if anyone knows or if the Governor Murphy sees this we and I need help with rent please direct us to the right place.. Please and 🙏🏾 thank you

  12. Hi am Annise am an unemployed because of Covid 19 I need help please to my rent my landlord asking me to leave please I have no way to go I have to children am a single mom

  13. Hi I’m an out of work chef and i couldn’t collect unemployment I’m about to evicted from my apartment my present landlord is on my back everyday because wants me out i’m trying to find
    other housing but everything is to expensive. please help me.

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