Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro
Michaelle Bond The Philadelphia Inquirer

Tenants in New Jersey who are struggling to make rent and utility payments can apply for a new round of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal rental assistance.

Tenants must meet income requirements, be experiencing a pandemic-related financial hardship and show they risk housing instability or homelessness. Eligible tenants can receive up to 12 months of assistance and can use funds for past-due rent dating to March 2020 and for future rent. Both tenants and landlords can apply. People who are homeless also can apply for funds in New Jersey.

New Jersey residents can apply for the second phase of the state’s rental assistance program starting at 9 a.m. Monday at njdca.onlinepha.com or can call 609-490-4550. More than 15,000 households received assistance in the first phase.

David Brogan, executive director of the New Jersey Apartment Association, said he and his members are encouraged by the additional rental assistance funds and that it is “imperative” that the state disburse the money as soon as possible, pointing out that many landlords have gone a year without rent. But, he said, the income requirements for rental assistance leave out middle-class residents who also lost jobs.

“Decision makers need to recognize that failing to provide necessary rental assistance to those in need will have a domino effect on tenants, landlords, homeowners, municipalities and the state,” Brogan said in a statement. “The multifamily industry pays over a billion dollars a year in property taxes.”