Hoboken tenant’s GoFundMe restarted as housing advocates file appeal over rental hike


A Hoboken tenant’s GoFundMe page has been restarted as housing advocates await a decision on an appeal filed over a roughly $1,700 rental hike that was approved in Hudson County Superior Court back in December.

Hoboken tenant Jeff Trupiano.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Both the Board and Mr. [Jeff] Trupiano have offered return on equity approaches that would be compliant with the TPA’s protections, and which amici support,” William Fairhurst, of the Fair Share Housing Center, and Renee Steinhagen, of the NJ Appleseed, wrote in an amici curiae brief filed with the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division on Thursday.

“Although the Board’s approach would still incorporate an estimation of the value of Mr. Trupiano’s dwelling unit, the value would be discounted significantly due to its rent-controlled status, and Amaconn would be entitled to a lower return and resulting rent.”

They said this outcome would ensure affordable rent for Trupiano and that the legislative intent of the Tenants Protection Act of 1992 must be followed by not allowing condominium conversions to destroy affordable housing.

Trupiano’s attorneys further argue that the rental increase “does not guarantee landlords a return on equity investment based on the dollar market value of the rent-controlled
unit, nor does it explicitly identify a particular method for calculating equity,” based on Hoboken’s rent control ordinance.

Trupiano has been in court since 2017 over this issue, as his landlord fought to levy an a hardship rent increase of approximately $2,800 per month. The GoFundMe page reports raising $15,424 from 230 donors to date.

After three remands to the Hoboken Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board, the trial court ordered a $1,717 rent increase effective December 2022.

Trupiano lives at 703 Park Ave. in Hoboken, his home since the early 90s, and earns approximately $43,000, the amici curiae brief says.

” … Judge Turula, in which the court found that the Board was arbitrary and capricious in its determination of Amaconn’s hardship rent increase, and awarded Amaconn with a new monthly rent increase of $1,717 for a total rent of about $2,400,” the court filing explains.

“Two-thirds of the rent increase, or $1,568.25 per month, provides Amaconn with a return on its alleged equity investment and is in addition to the minimum rent needed for Amaconn to meet its operating expenses for the unit.”

The filing also indicates that Trupiano’s only way to cover the full rent is via money raised via GoFundMe, though that will likely only last for another month or two.

According to court records, Amaconn Realty, Inc. purchased 703 Park Ave., the building where Trupiano lives, and spent about $1 million on renovations in 2001.

He also disputed the notion that his unit in particular received $76,000 in renovations, since his home has an exterior heater in the kitchen, no central air, and a broken smoke detector, among other issues.

The Hoboken Fair Housing Association initially launched the GoFundMe page for Trupiano about a year ago and, about a week later, he and his attorney, Dana Wefer, sat down with HCV to discuss the matter in detail.

“The ultimate issue in this case is whether the landlord on this property received a just and fair return in his investment because that is what he is untitled to under the constitution,” Wefer said at the time.

“And that’s been this issue in this case from the beginning, but it’s gotten very confused and very chaotic because the landlord has assisted – that as part of this fair return – he’s entitled to his fair return at equity.”

Wefer, who is representing Trupiano pro bono, is expected to request an expedited hearing and decision from the court.

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  1. Why do the well off in market rate get help with Ravi’s hand selected law firm and tenant “ advocate “ with FREE representation
    And this poor man is left to displacement

      • Looking for an 11-unit multi-family building in Hoboken for 500K in midtown Hoboken. I don’t care what the rent roll is because I will stop maintaining the apartments once I close. This will cause the tenants to get disgusted and move out. I might even suggest that they all leave. Then I will sell their units as condos for 500K each. Yippee! If anyone won’t leave, I will take them to court for causing me a hardship. Oh joy!

    • Sorry Bud, Hoboken has rent control. No one is subsidizing anyone (except maybe the Maxwell Place property owners where all of us taxpayers are spending millions upon millions to increase their already inflated property values by buying land and creating a park in their backyard.

        • Spam
          Sorry Bud, that’s a tired and false narrative especially when just about everything our government does and every penny of our tax dollars that they spend has a talking point of how this or that initiative is gonna raise our property values.

          • You appear to know a lot about false narratives.
            Hoboken is a good place to live and I can understand that people who can not afford to live here want other people to subsidize them so can.

  2. I gave to the GFM months ago
    Seems Ravi and Rafi are okay with the city paying for Andre Sobel to represent the wealthy Avalon tenants lawsuit
    Tenants who already can afford 4000-6000 plus a month