By: Jaina Louise Winston, Writer / Follow South Jersey Community Resources Intern
TRENTON, N.J. — On August 7, Governor Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver announced a new program that assists small landlords and tenants. Through the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, the Small Landlord Emergency Grant program will provide emergency relief for those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Property owners who have witnessed COVID-19 related decreases in rent over a four-month time period between April and July may be able to apply for this grant.
“To emerge stronger from this crisis, we need to make direct investments in our hardest hit neighborhoods and communities,” Gov. Murphy said in a press release. “Ensuring that responsible landlords can continue to maintain their properties and provide quality housing to our tenants is essential to our recovery. Through this program, we can also provide direct support to COVID-impacted renters by forgiving back-rent.”
Funded by $25 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, grant amounts will be formulated based on the total number of missed rental payments and the number of COVID-19-impacted rental units that serve low- and moderate-income tenants.
“No family should be without a home, especially in a national pandemic.” Charles A. Richman, Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, said in a release. “We have designed this grant program to ensure that our most vulnerable renters and landlords get the help that they need.”
In his statement, Richman applauded the housing and mortgage agency for their continued assistance to those in need during the unprecedented times. Families feared the serious consequences of the recent outbreak due to the loss of employment among other things. Swift action was needed to combat the crisis, which is why emergency grants like this are so important.
The grant will only be available for those who meet the requirements. Some requirements include, but aren’t limited to, owners with properties that are not seasonal or vacation rentals, owners that have at least three but no more than 10 housing units, and owners with properties that have low- to moderate-income rent levels or rent based on up to 80% of the median area income.
Be sure to check out the New Jersey Housing website to be sure all the requirements are met. In order to receive this grant, applications must be submitted between 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 19 and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26. Grants will be allocated on a case-by-case basis.
You can find more information about the grant program here.
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.