Two Hoboken groups often at odds both come out against new rent control proposal


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.

Photo via Google Maps.

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.

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  1. Could it be that this proposal may actually be good if the “free rent” people AND the “no rent control” people both don’t like it?

    Compromises often times are at its best when neither end of the crazy spectrum are happy.

  2. What’s better than rent control? A tax on vacant lots and unoccupied buildings. While rent control makes it less attractive to get tenants, a vacant-property tax makes it less attractive NOT to! Such a tax, although sometimes called a “vacancy tax”, is not limited to what real-estate agents call “vacancies” — that is, properties available for rent. It also applies to vacant lots and empty properties that are not on the rental market, and prompts the owners to get them habitable and occupied in order to avoid the tax.

    By the way, the desired *avoidance* of the vacant-property tax would increase economic activity, expanding the bases of other taxes and allowing their rates to be reduced, so that everyone else—including tenants, home owners, and landlords with tenants—would pay LESS tax!

  3. If socialists like Jim Doyle and Ravi Bhalla care about housing the needy, perhaps they can rent out the extra bedrooms they have in their multi million dollar brownstones

    Rent Control in Hoboken is a scam. Landlords are incentivized to convert to one family homes, adding to a housing shortage.

    • This is inaccurate and incorrect. Doyle is a communist. Ravi is an opportunist.
      What an owner does with their home is not any of your business. Their home is not “adding” to your so-called housing shortage.

  4. Here we go again, ravage a landlords ability to maintain their buildings, ban cars, remove gas stoves…
    What next, will residents be forced to join the Hoboken military and close houses of worship?

  5. This is what happens when you have completely unqualified, self-centered people om boards that believe they are doing good when in actually they do NOT have a clue.

  6. Time to look at those in taxpayer subsidized housing in Hoboken and see if they still actually deserve the units.
    Full income verification taking in all the residents assets is needed and is being demanded by those who subsidize their lifestyle. Increasing rents to full market rate to those who do not meet the current qualifications for being subsidized and not just adding a small surcharge. End the ability to sub-lease the apartments. Those who chose to move out will open units to those who truly need them.