A quiet but busy group called the Mile Square Taxpayers Association has been trying to get the word out that rent control in Hoboken needs to be reformed. Hoboken’s Rent Control Ordinance, first passed in 1973, limits how much a landlord of a multifamily building built before 1987 can raise the rent each year. That way, tenants don’t get gouged after moving in. There are also provisions to make sure landlords don’t go broke paying the bills: They can apply to the city’s Rent Control Board for a “hardship increase”; they can raise the rent 25 percent upon vacancy if it hasn’t been raised in three years; they can include an increase if they “substantially renovate” the building; and they can pass along tax and water charges.
Attempts to change the law over the years have been met with protests from tenant advocates. It’s one of the touchiest issues in Hoboken. It disappears every few years, and then rears its head again.
Now, the taxpayers’ group is having its say.
Mile Square Taxpayers Association has launched a new website with a new feature: “Ten Things to Resent About Hoboken Rent Control,” and launched a new Twitter platform, and is expanding its campaign to reform Hoboken’s rent control ordinance.
“In the 12 months since MSTA first requested that the City Council address the rent control ordinance, we have had confirmation that the ordinance is broken from every level of government – Council, Administration, Rent Leveling Board, Superior Court,” says Ron Simoncini, Executive Director of MSTA. “Instead of acting quickly to correct the critical flaws, the Council took nearly eight months to finally convene a committee that is on a seven month schedule.”
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