Hoboken Council-at-Large candidate Cheryl Fallick, a member of the Independently Together team, is laying out her plan to addressing housing insecurities in the Mile Square City.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Housing insecurities have gone unaddressed for too long in Hoboken and we are at risk of losing all of our economic diversity. Rent control and affordable housing laws are both controversial topics. I know that. One less dollar paid in rent is one less dollar received in rent,” Fallick said in a statement.
“But most don’t realize that without our laws, Hoboken would not be affordable for most residents, not just those on the lower end of the income scale.”
A member of the rent leveling and stabilization board, Fallick called on the Mayor Ravi Bhalla administration to reverse the defunding of the rent leveling office, which she says is still short staffed after the council allocated funds with a summer budget amendment.
She also is calling for a push to get an accurate inventory on all rent-protected properties, move rent leveling records and operations online, continue to fund and collaborate with the city’s tenant advocate, and double the current affordable housing requirement (from 10 percent to 20 percent).
Furthermore, she wants to ensure wait listing and tenant selection are fair and open processes, developing a funding source to rehabilitate, preserve, and/or build affordable housing, and implement a Community Land Trust – among other initiatives.
She also made a commitment to providing better support for residents of the Hoboken Housing Authority.
“There is no voice in our local government that prioritizes or has the experience to address this critical issue impacting so many of our residents,” Fallick added.
“All Hoboken residents need and deserve a City Council representative that has spent years researching ways to address housing affordability and who has been offering solutions to meet the need and stem our decades-long ongoing displacement.”
In response, Team Bhalla spokesman Rob Horowitz said the mayor has a strong commitment to affordable housing and the rent leveling office.
“Hoboken increased funding for the tenant advocate in 2020 by more than 300% from the year before ($28,766 to $90,357). This is the first line of defense when people have housing issues and the advice and representation is paid for by the city,” he said.
“A restructuring and bolstering of how the city handles affordable housing is well underway with the establishment of the new Division of Housing and later this week a new employee will be added to the rent control office to help with support, organization and modernization of the office. That being said, implying that the rent control office has somehow ceased to function is misleading at best.”
The non-partisan Hoboken municipal elections are on November 2nd, where Bhalla has no opponent and 10 council-at-large candidates are vying over three seats.