“Apartment Shortage in Hudson County” (Sept. 25) reads more as a free advertisement for the real estate industry rather than a serious piece of journalism. The reason renting is the increasing choice is not because people are “afraid to buy” it’s because it is almost impossible to get a mortgage. After years of giving mortgages away like candy-corn on Halloween (which helped to devastate the housing market - but made a lot of money for the banks) banks are now sitting on their tax-payer funded bailouts and refusing to give loans. Also, why no mention of the fact that the rate of unemployment is 9 percent? That’s the official rate - I think we all know it’s actually much higher. It is also interesting that Mr. LaMarca cites one person’s difficulties in finding a four-bedroom share as an example of the rental shortage. This is a very poor example - of course, it’s difficult to find a four (4) in Hoboken - it always has been and it always will be.
There is undoubtedly an apartment shortage in Hoboken. But the shortage is of apartments all over Hudson County for working people who can’t afford $3,000 apartments. People who support themselves and their families on $40K, $50K, $60K. Remember them? They built Hudson County - not the faceless investor/developers that are now crawling all over the county throwing up shoddy ‘sheet-rock palaces’ on every empty lot they can find. This article would have been a bit more balanced with some quotes from some middle class renters and a few less from real estate brokers.
Many of Hoboken’s new residents moved here because they feel it is a safe, diverse community. Indeed, Council President Bhalla and Mayor Zimmer were guests on local radio program recently citing themselves as examples of Hoboken’s diversity - the first Jewish American Mayor (and a woman to boot) and Council President Bhalla, the first Sikh elected to office in New Jersey - and there is much for residents to feel proud of in that. However, diversity is not just a concept to be applied to race, religion, and gender - it also encompasses economics. Mayor Zimmer’s religion and gender and Council President Bhalla’s ethnicity aside - Hoboken is far less diverse ethnically and economically than at any other time in the thirty years I’ve lived here.
Hoboken’s fake “rental shortage” should also be considered when thinking about why developer/landlords have chosen now to wage an expensive full-on assault on Hoboken’s rent control laws. I urge all residents of Hoboken who truly value diversity of all kinds to vote “yes” on Nov. 8 to reject the recently instituted changes to the Rent Control Law known as Z-88.