rental assistance in nj

Murphy Signs Sweeping NJ Housing Eviction Prevention and Utility Assistance Bill

The legislation is meant to help New Jersey residents who have been financially impacted by the pandemic

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What to Know

  • Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation that will prohibit housing evictions and provide utility assistance for New Jersey renters who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The legislation (S-3691) appropriates an additional $500 million for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP) and $250 million for utility assistance, both programs administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
  • Murphy also signed legislation (A-4463) providing assistance for residents who were unable to pay rent during the public health emergency by ordering that court records concerning their non-payment during this period be kept confidential.

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation that will prohibit housing evictions and provide utility assistance for New Jersey renters who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation (S-3691) appropriates an additional $500 million for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP) and $250 million for utility assistance, both programs administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

The bill mandates new eviction and foreclosure moratorium deadlines and special eviction protections for tenants who were directly impacted by the pandemic. New Jersey’s eviction moratorium will now continue through August for all state residents with household incomes below 120% Area Medium Income (AMI) and through the end of the year for certain households with incomes below 80% AMI.

The moratorium on home foreclosures ends on November 15, 2021, for all income levels. This includes landlords facing foreclosure who currently have tenants.

The newly passed legislation also calls for, among other things:

  • Landlords who are receiving rental assistance must waive any late fees accrued by tenants during the special protections period.
  • Landlords may not report delayed rent to crediting agencies and they cannot sell the debt.
  • Landlords may not disclose non-payment of rent to others and prospective landlords may not deny renting to a person who wasn’t able to pay rent during the covered period of March 1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2021.

Tuesday’s announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extending the nationwide moratorium on evictions for 60 days may provide additional protections for certain residents.

Murphy also signed legislation (A-4463) providing assistance for residents who were unable to pay rent during the public health emergency by ordering that court records concerning their non-payment during this period be kept confidential.

“We have heard the continuing calls for help from New Jerseyans who are struggling to pay their rent and utilities. COVID-19 has put tenants and landlords in a difficult place, and I am pleased to say that more assistance is on the way,” Murphy said. “This bill is going to direct money to the people and programs that need it most. Housing and access to utilities are fundamental to human health and safety and we want to ensure that as many eligible applicants impacted by the pandemic get the help they need during this challenging time.”

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