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Posted on: August 6, 2021

Governor Signs Housing Eviction Prevention and Utility Assistance Laws

Earlier this week Governor Murphy signed into law two bills providing eviction prevention and utility assistance for renters who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

S-3691 appropriates an additional $500 million for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP) for the Eviction Prevention Program and $250 million for utility assistance, both programs administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The bill also mandates new eviction and foreclosure moratorium deadlines and special eviction protections for tenants who were directly impacted by the pandemic. This legislation will continue the eviction moratorium through August for all state residents with household incomes below 120% Area Medium Income (AMI) and through the end of the year for certain households with incomes below 80% AMI. P.L. 2021, c.188 took effect on August 4, 2021.

A-4463  provides additional protections for individuals who were unable to pay rent during the public health emergency by mandating that court records pertaining to their non-payment during this period be kept confidential. In addition, when evaluating a prospective tenant a landlord cannot consider non-payment during an emergency period. P.L. 2021, c. 189 takes effect December 1, 2021 but will apply to landlord-tenant actions filed with the court between March 9, 2020 and the end of the emergency period. However, the penalties associated with the new law apply prospectively.

Contact: Lori Buckelew, Assistant Executive Director, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x112.

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