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TRENTON - The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) has launched a new, free resource for renters, landlords and homeowners who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to a release, with support from the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and the New Jersey Affordable Housing Trust Fund – Innovation Fund, the Network has launched a new website, a toll-free number, and a text alert system available for state residents to find answers, the most current information, resource directories and seek assistance.

“Families on the verge of losing their home are feeling overwhelmed, and often have no idea where to turn or what options are available,” stated Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network. “Covid-19 has created incredible financial burdens on our residents and our communities. Any number of evictions, but especially evictions of this magnitude, will have devastating impacts on households, the community, the economy, and state and local government budgets.”

Through the website, HousingHelpNJ.org residents will be able to send questions and concerns through an online form or call a toll-free number to be connected to a certified housing counselor or other helpful resources. The site will cover all the latest housing news and information specific to renters, landlords, and homeowners. 

Answers to questions such as, “Can I be evicted from my home?” and, “What if I can’t pay my utility bills?” can be found on the new site, which also has a resource library with guides for food, housing, clothing, health care, legal, financial and many other services.

“Through Housing Help NJ, housing counselors will be able to help residents protect themselves during this crisis and refer those who need legal help to our partners at Volunteer Lawyers for Justice,” stated Sharon Barker, vice president and chief operating officer of the Network. “The moratorium on evictions and foreclosures will be coming to an end sooner than later, and we hope to ward off a crisis by helping these families understand their rights and navigate a complex system. We are glad to be able to help.”

These nonprofit organizations providing housing counseling services and, in some cases, mediation services are all certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: New Jersey Citizen Action, La Casa de Don Pedro, Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling, Parkside Business and Community in Partnership, St. Joseph's Carpenter Society, The Waterfront Project, and Affordable Housing Alliance.

NJ residents seeking housing counseling services or information can visit www.HousingHelpNJ.org, call 888-691-3002, or email info@housinghelpnj.org. To stay updated on the latest housing news and resources in the state, residents can text "housing help" to 313131. Translation services are also available.

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