Landlord Relief Fund Established in New Jersey

New Jersey officials announced the creation of the Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program that will be funded through the CARES Act. 

The program, administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, will provide emergency grant funding to small property owners for COVID-19 related decreases in rent revenue for a four-month period between April and July 2020. 

“To emerge stronger from this crisis, we need to make direct investments in our hardest hit neighborhoods and communities,” said Gov. Phil Murphy at a press briefing Aug. 7. “Ensuring that responsible landlords can continue to maintain their properties and provide quality housing to our tenants is essential to our recovery. Through this program, we can also provide direct support to COVID-impacted renters by forgiving back-rent.”

Grants Offered

Grant amounts will be generated based on the total amount of missed rental payments and the number of COVID-impacted rental units that serve low- and moderate-income tenants. 

Landlords who receive assistance will be required to pass along benefits to their tenants by forgiving back rent and late fees accumulated by COVID-19 impacted units. 

One-third of program funds will be reserved for applicants who are registered in the Department of Community Affairs (DCA)’s database as individual or family owners. Qualified applicants must meet the following specifications: 

  1. Owners with properties that have at least three but no more than 10 total housing units;
  2. Owners with properties that are not seasonal or vacation rentals;   
  3. Properties must have current fire inspection certificates as of March 9, 2020;
  4. Owners of properties with at least one non-vacant rental unit impacted by COVID-19 between April and July 2020; and
  5. Owners with properties that have low- to moderate-income rent levels or rent based on up to 80% of the median area income.

Small Landlords

“We know that many of New Jersey’s landlords are not companies or corporations. Rather, they are families and individuals. And like the families they rent to, they are struggling because they are often locked out of access to capital and federal resources,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of DCA. 

“The number one priority of this program is to offer much-needed relief to small landlords, who will in turn pass along the benefits to their tenants who are also fighting to stay afloat in the midst of this ongoing public health and economic crisis,” stated Oliver.

Applications must be submitted between Aug. 19 at 9:00 a.m. and Aug. 26 at 1:00 p.m. to be considered. Grant funding will be allocated on a case by case basis, based on the number of COVID-impacted units, and the amount of missed rent. Applicants must be the primary property owner of a residential rental property in New Jersey and be registered with DCA’s Bureau of Housing Inspection as of July 17, 2020. 

Daily Data

As of Aug. 9, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 184,773 with 378 new cases and five new deaths, bringing that total to 14,021. The state probable death count remained at 1,853, bringing the overall total to 15,874.

Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,866, followed by Bergen at 1,787, Hudson with 1,335, Passaic at 1,091, Morris at 679, Sussex at 160 and Warren with 157.

In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 251, Essex has 239, Hudson has 167, Passaic and Morris at 148, Sussex has 37 and Warren has 14.

In the last 24 hours, hospitals in the state reported 20 unconfirmed labs deaths.

State Testing 

As for the rate of transmission, it continues to decrease with a reading of 1.03. Officials have continually cited transmission rate—which measures the rate each new case leads to how many additional cases—and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.

Officials reported 483 patients are hospitalized, with the northern tier having 210 patients hospitalized, the central 127 and the south 146.

Of those hospitalized, 83 are in intensive care units and 31 on ventilators, while 57 patients were discharged. 

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 20,794, followed by Essex at 19,728, Hudson at 19,671, Middlesex at 17,919, Passaic at 17,642, Union at 16,695, Ocean at 10,596, Monmouth at 10,302, Camden at 8,562, Mercer at 8,119, Morris at 7,248, Burlington at 6,007, Somerset at 5,245, Atlantic at 3,463, Cumberland at 3,338, Gloucester at 3,248, Warren at 1,345, Sussex at 1,330, Hunterdon at 1,149, Salem at 894 and Cape May at 832.

Another 646 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted currently 263 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 17,664 of the cases, broken down between 11,391 residents and 6,273 staff. 

Cumulatively, 620 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 24,607 residents and 12,993 staff, for a total of 37,600 cases. 

The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 6,956 on Au. 9. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,681 residents deaths and 120 staff deaths. 

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