When paired with New Jersey’s lack of affordable housing and high cost of living, the health and economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly affected our moderate- to low-income neighbors.
The pandemic has considerably worsened our community’s already existing housing crisis. Since its start, high unemployment and underemployment rates have left thousands of NJ renters without the means to pay their rent.
Thankfully, in March of 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) enacted a federal Eviction Moratorium to protect renters from eviction, effectively preventing thousands from experiencing homelessness and containing further spreading of COVID-19. The CDC’s moratorium unfortunately ended in August of 2021; however, New Jersey was one of only six states to continue most of these protections throughout 2021.
Governor Phil Murphy halted most evictions to keep families housed, despite missing a rent payment, routinely paying rent late, or refusing to pay a rent increase.
Low-income families making below 80% of their county's median income were protected for missing rent from March 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2021, if they filled out the required paperwork. Similarly, families making between 80% and 120% of their county’s median income cannot be evicted for missed rent from March of 2020 through August of 2021.
What Happens Now?
NJ’s moratorium was lifted on January 1, 2022, but renters are reminded that eviction is a process; coming home to a locked door without a warrant of removal from law enforcement is illegal.
Should you or anyone you know experience this, promptly contact 911 to report the illegal eviction, and then contact NJ 211 by dialing 2-1-1 to be connected with shelter for the night.
Those uncertain of their protection under the 2021 moratorium can check their eligibility by income level here.
How Can Family Promise of Morris County Help?
Our social work team can connect those experiencing homelessness to vital resources, such as eviction prevention services, benefits screenings, case management, and housing programs.
Our Rapid Rehousing and Diversion program, for example, quickly moves families and individuals into safe, stable housing, and our Community Support program provides 24-hour crisis intervention, case management, referrals, and linkages to crucial services.
If you’re experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, we are here to help! Please contact us at 973-644-0100.