Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon is continuing to push for rent protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling for the city to start a relief fund for low-income residents “regardless of immigration status.”
“As more and more Jersey City residents suffer lost incomes and housing instability, I applaud your recent announcement of the Jersey City COVID-19 Relief Fund,” Solomon wrote yesterday in a letter to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Economic Development Corporation Chair Rosemary McFadden, and Housing Authority Executive Director Vivian Brady-Phillips.
“I write to advocate that the fund dedicate significant resources to protect every low-income member of the Jersey City community – regardless of immigration status – with a rent relief fund.”
He further states that while working on an eviction moratorium is a good first step, 71 percent of city residents are renters, noting that undocumented residents have been left out of federal stimulus relief efforts.
“As a sanctuary city with rightful pride in our diversity, we’ve got to make policies that value every one of our residents. Furthermore, I ask that the fund focus on our low-income residents and adopt best practices in transparency,” Solomon wrote.
“We ask that all rent relief go to families with low-incomes (below 50% of AMI) who were left out of the federal stimulus bill. Funds in cities across the country, including Boston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Austin, and San Jose, have adopted similar approaches. With the three policies below, the fund can be a national model for disaster relief.”
The councilman also made a third ask for the relief fund: that all donor data, whether they be individuals of corporate entities, is maintained and are publicly accessible records.
A city spokeswoman did not immediately return a request seeking comment on Solomon’s suggestions.
The Jersey City Council will vote remotely on the first reading of an ordinance regarding a potential rent freeze at this evening’s meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.