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State Sen. Brian Stack. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Senate committee clears bill expanding landlord assistance program

By Nikita Biryukov, December 08 2020 12:16 pm

The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee unanimously advanced a bill that would extend benefits given by an emergency grant program for small landlords to ones who manage just one or two properties Tuesday.

“The Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program was expanded to provide assistance for property owners with at least 3 but no more than 30 total housing units, leaving smaller landlords without any aid,” State Sen. Brian Stack (D-Union City) said. “With the addition of this new program, landlords with one- and two- family properties will be able to file for assistance as well.”

The bill would also appropriate $50 million in General Fund moneys to finance the expanded program.

Landlords can apply to recoup unpaid rent between April 1 and the first day of the seventh month following the end of the state’s public health emergency, though they have to be registered with their local government and current on their state and local taxes to do so.

“While the Administration’s previous effort to assist small landlords had good intentions, it fell seriously short by leaving out micro-landlords,” State Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Palmyra) said. “Through our proposal, we will be able to help these smaller landlords, many who have faced the financial pressure of figuring out how to pay their mortgages, property taxes, insurance and fees at a time when their tenants are not able to make their rent payments.”

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