To help tenants stay in their homes during the pandemic, Assembly members Annette Chaparro, Raj Mukherji and Benjie Wimberly sponsored legislation that would provide rental assistance to those experiencing hardship as a result of unemployment.
The bill (A-3956) establishes a temporary emergency rental assistance program for residential tenants who have suffered an income loss due to the COVID-19 crisis. The bill appropriates $100 million to provide rental assistance to tenants across the State. Rental assistance federal aid NJ may receive must be spent before the general fund money is used.
The sponsors issued the following statement on the bill:
“The pandemic has caused a very sudden and very severe economic hardship for many New Jersey families, especially for working families who were already trying to find ways to balance their household budgets.
“Nearly one million people have been left unemployed at this time as we continue to battle COVID-19 with social distancing and non-essential business closures. Existing housing assistance programs in the state may not be equipped to handle a crisis of this magnitude. This pandemic is a unique challenge that requires us to help each other, and to support families in getting through this time.”
The bill was approved by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Thursday.