To the Editor:
I would like to thank Sen. Michael Testa and Assemblyman Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen (all R-1st) for hosting the Oct. 15 Zoom meeting, as well as the participants for their insightful commentary.
The landlord's story is yet to be told in local, state, and national media. It is time to tell our side.
Legislators must contact media outlets, showcase properties, and interview landlords who tell the story of time, money, and ingenuity invested to create safe and affordable housing.
Rental property is not a gold mine of profits with little or no oversight. Landlords have gone without rent for eight months. There is no money for paying mortgages, utilities, maintenance, and property taxes.
Landlords cannot evict for any reason. Many tenants, though capable of paying, refuse to do so.
My proposals are a task force of state senators to study the housing problems in New Jersey and make recommendations that will benefit landlords and tenants to provide stable housing stock now and in the future.
An open letter to Gov. Phil Murphy, signed by our legislators, and distributed to the media would explain how landlords are not being paid. It would explain the tenant eviction process. It would explain if tenants are evicted for not paying rent, ruined credit would diminish the chances of finding housing.
In New Jersey, 450,000 residents face eviction. Without proper housing, many will resort to homeless shelters, food banks, and, in Cape May County, rustic living in the woods will reappear.
Jobs for the homeless will disappear for obvious reasons. Crime will go up. Social dissent will arise with protests, riots, and looting.
I urge our legislators to take action to avert a future disaster.