Assembly panel clears Mukherji, Chaparro, & Wimberly bill for $100M rent relief fund

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A New Jersey Assembly panel cleared a bill introduced by Raj Mukherji, Annette Chaparro (both D-33), and Benjie Wimberly (D-35) that seeks to create a $100 million rent relief fund statewide.

Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-33).

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Bill (A-3956) establishes a temporary emergency rental assistance program for residential tenants who have suffered an income loss due to the COVID-19 crisis, specifically appropriating $100 million to provide rental assistance to tenants across the state.

Rental assistance federal aid New Jersey may receive must be spent before the general fund money is used.

“The pandemic has caused a very sudden and very severe economic hardship for many New Jersey families, especially for working families who were already trying to find ways to balance their household budgets,” the three sponsors said in a joint statement.

“Nearly 1 million people have been left unemployed at this time as we continue to battle COVID-19 with social distancing and non-essential business closures. Existing housing assistance programs in the state may not be equipped to handle a crisis of this magnitude. This pandemic is a unique challenge that requires us to help each other, and to support families in getting through this time.”

The bill was approved by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Thursday.

This legislation is a compliment to the measure that cleared the state senate last month, which was introduced by state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), along with state Senators Brian Stack (D-33) and Kristin Corrado (R-40).