Liberty Board of Realtors, Solomon trade shots over Jersey City rent control regulations

0

The Liberty Board of Realtors took aim at Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon over his advocacy for rent control regulations in a recent mailer, prompting him to respond in kind.

Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon at the January 8th, 2020 council meeting.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“In our system of government, everyone gets a chance to give his or her opinion. A good example is a tenant advocate Councilman Solomon,” reads a LBR mailer that went out last week.

“He spends an enormous amount of energy at council meetings lobbying for more rent control rules on property owners, but instead, that energy needs to be spent solving the problem by working with the private sector. Since rent control was implemented over 30 years ago there are now less affordable housing units. He and many others ignore this fact!”

Solomon led the charge to expand the city’s rent control freeze to multiple dwelling units in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

When returning fire on the LBR, the Downtown councilman indicated that he isn’t changing his tune when it comes to strong rent control protections.

“It is no surprise to see a real estate PAC use its deep pockets to mislead Jersey City voters, while attacking me, in advance of the 2021 election season,” he said in a statement this morning.

“Let’s be clear: Jersey City needs strong tenant protections. Weakly written or poorly enforced laws lead to the eviction and displacement of many of the long-term residents who built this city. I am proud that my advocacy for tenants earned their criticism.”

He continued that making the city more affordable comes through three policies: strong tenant protections through rent control, building more homes of all types with their required infrastructure, and constructing affordable units buoyed by a strong inclusionary zoning ordinance.

Like the rest of the city council, Solomon is up for re-election on November 2nd and is yet to have a declared opponent as of Tuesday morning, though it’s forgone conclusion that Mayor Steven Fulop – seeking a third term this fall – will run someone against him.