LETTER: My Hoboken apt. may be converted into a multi-family residential building


In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Erica Seitzman explains her dilemma where her apartment may be converted into a multi-family residential building.

Erica Seitzman. Facebook photo.

Dear Editor,

My name is Erica Seitzman. Hoboken has been my home for the last 22 years. Hoboken is an amazing city that often feels like a small hometown.

It has a vibrant city life, caring neighbors, and plenty of parks for my dogs to run around in. I often refer to Hoboken as a small city with massive amounts of community.

I have seen changes in Hoboken over the past 22 years, many positive and sadly, some negative.

Those that know me well will tell you, I am a staunch advocate for many causes. I am proud to be an activist in support of the homeless, public education, and public housing.

I excel at advocating for others but am not always so good at asking for assistance for myself. However, today I need your support.

Here is a brief overview of my situation.

My current apartment building and the ones adjacent to me are being considered by the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment to be converted into a new multifamily residential building with four residential floors above a ground floor parking garage.

A total of twenty (20) units are proposed.

Over the last few years, 45 three and four-family properties have sold, many advertised as ‘can be delivered vacant’ or ‘tenants on a month-to-month lease’ (as if that means they can be asked to leave).

The data demonstrates that the existing rents in the buildings that are being torn down are ALWAYS less than the mega-priced condos (or rentals) that replace them.

If the replacement building has more than 3 units, that new building can be exempted from rent controlled for 30 years. If the building has 3-or less units, although it is rent controlled, the base rent would be whatever the next rental amount is.

What this means is that buildings with low rent are being converted into rentals with higher rental fees – rents that are not affordable for the current tenants, including me. People in this situation have few options remaining but to leave Hoboken.

Now, I am asking for the same assistance, I’m calling on my friends and supporters to please email the city council and mayor in light of the fact that this situation is not unique and affects numerous people in our community.

We need a change in our land use laws so that our land use boards must consider the fact that we have a housing affordability emergency in Hoboken.

Thus, any application to tear down an existing rent regulated building must be considered a negative criterion for any requested variances.

Also, the internal process must be changed so that any and all applications to the zoning officer to tear down a rent regulated building with a plan to rebuild a residential property must be referred to the Housing Division and the city will contact any residential tenants, and those tenants are fully informed of their rights.

This is crucial so tenants can advocate for themselves. I am aware of my rights, I want others to know theirs, too.

To take action, you are welcome to join me at the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting on 11/21 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Erica Seitzman
Hoboken resident

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  1. A tenant complaining her 5 story building is being replaced by a smaller building….
    If you want security save and buy OR move to the HHA

  2. Very selfish of her , this is nativism and nimbyism at its finest, if she wants to continue to live in Hoboken she can buy a place or rent somewhere else. It’s time she gives some else a chance to live here. Erica spends all her time defending the mayors actions up until it affects her

  3. Maybe you will realize you were on the wrong side all those years as the policies of the administration will only make rent control matters worse and potentially get rid of it all together.

  4. It seems the person known in political circles as “Heart of Gold, Brain of Mush” is on a collision course with the reality of how the world works. Too bad, so sad.

  5. Come on, you may disagree with her, but at least she is nice and volunteers in this city, UNLIKE a certain over the hill con artist and so called rent control “expert” who purports to have a large following…
    It’s time rent control is reformed to go to the truly needy and not those with huge trusts and CHOOSE to live in cheap apartments.
    Not saying this woman is, but we all know one or two who do scam their landlords and cry “Displacement”

  6. The rich politicos that live in Marineview making six figires from a public pension, own property, have a bar generating income and then have two other public jobs making another six figures plus a tax payer paid for car shoukd also be run out of town.

    But alas, it seems the sheep have voted him in again into office.

    Next we will have Rafi ok hear with a similar lette as his building so for sale and if/when sold he might be on his way out as well. Hopefully one of his seven la gauges will help him understand how the world works.

  7. Maybe write Mayor Emily and ask her to get one of her socialist workers to help after it finishes reading library books about oral sex to preteens? They’re excellent and help evict Juan and his family of five from 1118 Jefferson on Halloween. They should be able to throw $20 at your Google the name of a hotel for you which will solve everything.

    If not, I’m sure you can pitch your little tent in the backyard of one of the Hoboken Mommies.