LETTER: I stand in solidarity with Jersey City’s Portside Towers tenants


In a letter to the editor, Hudson County commissioner candidate Ron Bautista explains why he stands in solidarity with Jersey City’s Portside Towers tenants.

Screenshot via YouTube.

Dear Editor,

Hudson County is facing a crisis when it comes to rental prices. Developers are taking advantage of the lack of rent control enforcement and are hiking up prices to unreasonable levels.

This is unfair to tenants, and it’s driving everyday people out of the community, like the tenants from Portside Towers and 70 Greene St. who spoke up at the Jersey City Council meeting a few weeks ago.

I stand with the tenants, and we must see immediate actions from the city and county governments.

This is not a new issue, and that’s why I’m running for office; because the county government has sat on its hands for too long.

It’s time for the county to start working with every city in Hudson County to implement a rent-control digital database, so we can ensure that real estate developers are not raising rents above what is fair and reasonable.

This will give tenants the peace of mind that they will not be suddenly hit with an unaffordable rent increase.

Furthermore, a rent-control digital database will allow for greater transparency and accountability in the rental market. Developers will have to justify their rent increases, and tenants will have a way to easily access information about rental prices in the area.

In addition, we must ensure that tenants have free legal representation and that tenant protections are actively enforced.

Having legal representation will give tenants the confidence to challenge unfair rent increases and other unlawful practices. It will also provide everyday people with a way to seek redress if they have been mistreated by developers.

Now more than ever we have to work towards a rental market that is fair, transparent, and accountable. We can no longer wait for crumbs.

Ron Bautista
Hudson County Commissioner Candidate, District 5

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  1. Obviously, Mr. Bautista, respectfully lives in a different world. Had the City not put forward a school budget that has nothing to do with reality and that ultimately raised taxes by 40%, then it would not be necessary for landlords to increase rents. If buildings are to be maintained properly, the increases are necessary. The landlords did not cause the problem, they are reacting to being over taxed. Thank you

    • Portside Towers apartments received rent increases of 40%+ in one year alone. The building is from the late 80s. The apartments haven’t had any rennovations and the bathrooms have been overflowing with mold due to a broken ventilation system – they simply paint over the mold when they receive complaints. There is literally zero valid reason for how they are treating their tenants.

  2. I think this is a great idea. Landlords and tenants should be given free lawyers, equal representation under the law. Not sure if the lawyers are going to enjoy working for free, but as long as it doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything to provide the free lawyers, it’s a great idea.

    Now, rent control is also a problem. It’s not helping the people who need it, and leads to building being run down, and no money to fix it. So, what we should do is look at the prices charged by companies for materials needed for supplies, go back and lower their prices to be in line with what’s allowed for rent increases. I’m sure HomeDepot, Lowe’s and the other large retailers won’t have a problem with that.

    We definitely can’t stop their though. We need to look at all of the trades and workers who work on these buildings. We’ll have to do a study and see what the average was for their work when rent control started, and either reduce or increase their wages to be in line with rent control.

    After that, we can do the same with public servants and government workers. And we should keep going until everything is fair.

    …Or, we could stop illegally taking people’s properties by restricting what they can charge for rents. Stop letting properties get run down by not allowing rents to be raised to market rates to keep up with inflation, material costs, taxes, insurance costs, etc. And stop trying to make fewer rentals available by trying to destroy people businesses.

    And for anyone wondering, I am not a landlord, just a business owner.