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What if I can’t pay my rent? Can I still get evicted? Is there any rental relief?
Your landlord cannot remove you from your home during this emergency.
On March 19, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 106, which states that any lessee, tenant, homeowner or any other person shall not be removed from a residential property as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding.
If you are at risk of eviction or are concerned about paying rent, use this online eviction moratorium information and question tool to see your rights and what assistance programs are available.
Counseling is free, available now, and can be provided remotely to help homeowners avoid potential foreclosure. At the same time, the counseling made available to renters will guide them on how to approach discussions with their landlords on dealing with their rent situation.
Emergency Rent Relief
The COVID-19 Short Term Rental Assistance Program will provide temporary rental assistance to low- and moderate- income households that have had a substantial reduction in income or have become unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The program will open for applications in July and begin paying rental assistance in September. The program will offer an initial three months of temporary rental assistance, with the ability for the household to renew for an additional three months if needed.
Applications to the program can be submitted online starting on July 6th at 9:00 a.m. at https://www.waitlistcheck.com/NJ559-2809.
For more information, visit the NJ Department of Community Affairs' COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP) site.
Additional Rent Relief Programs
Governor Murphy has announced an executive order allowing renters to direct their landlords to use their security deposits to pay their rents, whether that be to make up for a shortfall or to pay it in full.
Tenants will not be obligated to make any further security deposit relating to their current lease agreement but would still be responsible for any monies landlords expend that would have been reimbursable via the security deposit as outlined in the original contract (i.e. damage to the property).
However, should the tenant and landlord extend or renew their lease, then the tenant would be obligated to replenish the security deposit in full either six months following the end of the Public Health Emergency, or on the date on which the current lease agreement is extended or renewed, whichever is later. The order will be in place until 60 days after the public health emergency is terminated.
In addition, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Authority (NJHMFA) has suspended all rent increases at all eligible properties within its portfolio, which includes 36,000 rental units across the state for low-and-middle income New Jerseyans.
For more information, contact one of NJHMFA's housing counselors. Click here for a list of available counselors in your county or call 1-800-NJ-HOUSE.
Additional Housing Assistance
Visit www.nj.gov/dca/dcaid to see if you are eligible for any of the state's housing assistance programs. These include temporary assistance to households who are being evicted due to a short- term loss of income and temporary financial assistance to help pay for housing and case management and services to maintain housing. There are also programs available to help veterans, low-income families, the elderly, single-parents, and more.
Source: Executive Order No. 106; https://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200328c.shtml; https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200319c.shtml; Executive Order No. 128; https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200424c.shtml