"Now that the finances are moving along, we are going to start addressing every other issue one by one," said Union City Mayor Brian Stack, who is also a voting member of the Hudson County Tenants' Council.
One of these ordinances established policies and procedures for relocation assistance for tenants who are forced out of illegal apartments.
The other established policies for owners and managers of large-scale multiple dwelling buildings.
Both ordinances were adopted on first reading at the meeting and will be put on the agenda for final adoption at the June 28 meeting.
The ordinance regarding illegal occupancy would make landlords responsible for up to six times the cost of the monthly rent charged to tenants of illegal apartments who are forced to move.
Stack said the law targets landlords who allow tenants to rent out basement apartments that do not meet safety codes.
"There are anywhere from 500 to 1,000 basement apartments [in the city] that are not up to code," said Stack, adding that he even saw one landlord who was digging up his basement to add an apartment. "Some of these apartments do not have windows or have up to 10 [people] sharing one bathroom."
Under the current municipal regulations, the city is responsible for relocating families who are forced to move because of sub-standard living arrangements. If the city health or fire code officials inspect a building and find an occupied apartment that does not meet the current state safety or health codes, the families living in those apartments are forced to move at the expense of the city.
"The city now has to pick up the relocation costs," said Stack. "That is not fair to [taxpayers] who follow the rules that now have to pick up the tab."
After the Lenox apartment building, a 300-unit complex on Fifth Street in Union City, closed its management office two months ago, the members of the Washington Towers Tenants' Council, named after the building's original title, complained to Union City Mayor Brian Stack.
The tenants' council, led by Wafaa Mikhail, the chairperson of the Hudson County Tenants' Association, has a membership that includes 196 of the building's 300 units.
"In a building that size," said Stack. "There needs to be a management office on site that is open eight hours a day for assistance."
The ordinance states that all apartment buildings with 100 units or more must have a management office on site. "What happens is that the city of Union City becomes the manager of these buildings," said Stack.
The ordinance further states that all apartment buildings with 150 or more units must have a security guard or doorman on duty for 24 hours, seven days a week.
According to Stack, all of the buildings are currently in compliance with this ordinance; however, having this ordinance in place will deter any landlord from abandoning the practice.
There are only a few buildings in the city that apply under this resolution; the Lenox Building, Troy Towers, The Bella Vista and the Doric High Rise.
Mikhail said that she is very happy with the two ordinances introduced at the meeting.