Newark steps up rent control enforcement in response to growing demand for housing
Cyril Josh Barker | 2/13/2020, 2:27 p.m.
Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Deputy Mayor/Director of Economic and Housing Development Allison Ladd recently announced new efforts to strengthen Newark’s rent control program.
There was a 584% increase in properties registered for rent control over the previous year. In 2018, the Office of Rent Control registered 519 properties. This number increased to 3,552 properties in 2019. There are now nearly 30,000 housing units registered for rent control and the number is growing monthly.
“With a growing demand for housing in Newark, there is a strong financial incentive for landlords to try to evade Newark’s strong rent control ordinance,” said Baraka. “Increased rent control enforcement is an important tool in our goal to keep existing housing affordable, while the city ramps up additional housing that residents can afford.”
Baraka also announced a 323% increase in rebates to residents in cases of overcharging. In 2019, the Office of Rent Control authorized rent rebates of $65,841 to residents who were overcharged. Rebates for 2018 totaled $15,547.
Ladd stated, “Increasing property registrations improves the city’s capacity to enforce rent control regulations. In addition, it helps ensure that tenants are paying fair rents for their housing and have an avenue for resolution if they file a complaint about unfair increases. Rent Regulation Officer Jacquea Lee and the Office of Rent Control are strengthening protections for Newark tenants.”