Two Hoboken groups that are often at odds have both come out against a new rent control proposal that will go before the city council at tomorrow night’s meeting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In a statement issued yesterday, the Hoboken Fair Housing Association said the ordinance, up for first reading , asserts that the changes would fold surcharged into the rent, would leave tenants at Marine View and Clock Towers without rent control, and codifies all rent updates done by the rent leveling officer to date, among other things.
“No outreach was done to Hoboken renters, rent control activists or the rent leveling board members in connection with crafting the proposal,” the group said.
“Staff in the Housing Division did consult with investor/developer real estate lobbyist representatives and sources have stated that the administration, including the mayor and his chief of staff, met with and/or spoke with a representative from the Mile Square Taxpayers Association (MSTA), an organization that lobbies for the abolishment of rent control in Hoboken.”
They also acknowledged that former Hudson County Superior Court Judge Barry Sarkisian received a $10,000 contract last month to review the city’s rent control law, as HCV first reported, which they feel was done to codify all practices and processes of the administration.
City spokeswoman Marilyn Baer called this interpretation as “inaccurate and misleading,” stating that the ordinance seeks to clarify regulations that are “ambiguous and unclear.”
“Hoboken will continue to have strong rent control laws in order to protect renters and keep the critical regulations in place,” she added.
Mile Square Taxpayers Association Executive Director Ron Simoncini said that their concerns have been shared with the council and the administration for the past 10 months, noting that these amendments would increase fees by more than 300 percent and drop the maximum rental increase down to 5 percent annually.
“I would say that, with the exception of last year’s proposed amendments, this is the most significant overt act of hostility to property owners I have ever seen in Hoboken,” said Simoncini.
“The fact that the Administration did not in any sense enter a dialogue with the property owners about the nature of these changes is a personal insult to ever single property owner in this town – single family, condo, multi-family and commercial.”
Simoncini also stated that none of these changes would address the affordable housing crisis, and that the base year for establishing these rules should be right before the pandemic, about 2019, as opposed to what’s written in the ordinance: 1985.
Baer did not immediately respond to the Simoncini’s remarks, which were made late this afternoon.
The Hoboken City Council convenes tomorrow at City Hall, 94 Washington St., at 7 p.m. and will also stream live on their Facebook page.