In a letter to the editor, Hoboken residents Matt and Jamie Burkhard outline how the Bozzuto Group is suddenly pushing up to 30 percent rent increases.
To the people of Hoboken and The Bozzuto Group:
My husband and I moved to Hoboken in 2015 and never planned on staying as long as we have. But we fell in love with the mile square city. We fell in love with the building that was brand-new when we moved to Park + Garden in 2015.
We fell in love with the small businesses and restaurants and the waterfront and our neighbors.
The building’s concierge staff, maintenance workers and cleaners have all become like family to us after 8 years of living here. So we’ve stayed, year after year, falling more in love with our home.
When COVID hit, this was our shelter. We never left town, never asked for or received a discount in rent, because this was our home. The same home where we brought both of our babies back from the Hoboken hospital.
It’s always been expensive to call this building our home, but we’ve always decided it’s worth it to us.
That is until now. We suddenly find ourselves facing a truly unconscionable rent increase of 30 percent.
This is without any upgrades or improvements to either our unit or the building itself. We’ve been told this is the current “market rate” and the Bozzuto management has been unwilling to see past that logic.
We’re not naive; we know there will always be people willing to pay exorbitant prices to live somewhere.
We understand that a new tenant might be subjected to much higher rent prices, but that does not justify a percentage increase, or dollar increase, of this magnitude for the existing tenants in our home.
We’ve been amenable to annual increases throughout our time at Park + Garden. The first year, it went up 1 percent. The second year, less than that. Another year was a 3 percent increase, and last year it went up 7 percent, which was tough but we stayed.
Nothing justifies a 30 percent increase other than corporate greed at its finest, and that’s what we, along with dozens of our neighbors, are being subjected to.
This is also happening to residents at The Artisan, another property managed by Bozzuto.
The Bozzuto Group is looking at new residents and the appetite for people flocking from Manhattan, willing to rent for much higher prices than ever before. They are seeing dollar signs, and we’re asking them to see humanity.
These increases are impossible for us to keep up with. Nothing goes up 30 percent in one year, except maybe the price of eggs!
Our son is in the Hoboken public school system and we fear pulling him away from the community and friends he loves at Brandt. Our daughter just started at a daycare we chose because of the proximity to our home.
We’ve watched beloved neighbors and friends leave our building over the past several months because they couldn’t afford to stay with these absurd increases.
All of this comes down to one simple request of Bozzuto, and its CEO, Toby Bozzuto: please be reasonable. Please don’t drive us out of our homes. Please don’t drive our kids out of their schools.
Please understand how we feel, and find a more appropriate increase rate that aligns with the historical increases we’ve accepted each year for the past 8 years.
The Bozzuto mission states, in part, that they have “a sincere commitment to understanding and fulfilling the needs of our customers.”
Please understand our needs, and fulfill them. Make good on your commitment.
Matt and Jamie Burkhard