Rev. Tom Murphy of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, a key member of Jersey City Together, coined the phrase,”You mess with our neighbor, you mess with us,” during a press conference yesterday to update Mayor Steven Fulop’s progress on landlord-tenant issues.
On the steps of the church, Diane Maxon, of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, introduced the conference with Jersey City Together’s campaign to expose Joseph Ehrman’s “many LLC’s” including: Optimum Property Management, Sixth Boro Rentals and Golden Apple.
Shortly afterwards, Rev. Mona Fitch-Elliott, of St. John’s Lutheran Church, called for justice, along with a fair quality of life for all residents within each ward.
At last month’s meeting, Jersey City residents shared their stories of pest control issues, rent control violations, and intimidation tactics.
According to Murphy, tenant complaints lingered even further with knowledge of camera installation outside of apartments, photographed identification of tenants and landlords unfairly rewording renewal leases.
“The landlord we are focused on tonight, Joseph Ehrman, owns buildings down the street from many of Jersey City Together’s congregations and right across the street from St. Paul’s [church],” said Murphy.
“This is a man that for a while now has been using a set of well-known tactics to intimidate and take advantage of tenants. Failing to make repairs. Leaving people with holes in the wall, rodent and bedbug infestations, and more.”
On May 17th, Jersey City Together Leaders partnered with city officials and the Waterfront Project, Inc. to inform residents of Fulop’s commitment to revamp the Tenant Resources office, writing an effective foreclosure ordinance, and enforcing proper compliance for landlords.
Yesterday, Fulop reassured residents of Jersey City that his commitments have become actions.
“One month ago, we met here and we made some commitments and I’m happy to tell you we’ve moved forward on some of those commitments,” the mayor said.
“First we talked about a foreclosure ordinance, which is something that’s done elsewhere in the State of New Jersey that would find more landlords … that we could make a better compliance and enforcement from the Jersey City side.”
Additionally, Fulop said he will announce today new leadership in the Tenant Resources office as well as new leadership within the municipal prosecutors office.