Jersey City, New Jersey, a city that has had trouble sending federal rental assistance money to its residents, plans to reopen its application process in early October. a report from About slow speed.
The last application period lasted from August 17 to September 7.
On Friday, Mayor Steven Fulop (D) personally emailed a constituent who asked not to be named in this story and who wrote to the mayor in need of rental assistance.
Fulop replied that while the city currently limits assistance to people living in owner-occupied buildings of less than five units, eligibility will soon be expanded to larger buildings in which the owner does not live on site.
The mayor said the application process would reopen on October 2 and the city would make an announcement this week.
October 2 is a Saturday, which would be a normal day for a government to open an application process. Fulop’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the new start date, or whether those who have already applied and been rejected will have to submit new applications.
Fulop emailed Ghatak a day later revealed of Jersey City, State second most populous city, has struggled to launch its federal rent assistance program and get money out the door. The key holdup is the owner-occupied requirement – an unusual norm in these types of programs, and one that came about at the request of Fulop himself.
9, the Jersey City Housing Authority, which is administering the Rental Assistance Program, provided a status update on the Rental Assistance Fund during a call with other city officials and local nonprofits.
The agency said it has received over 1,100 applications and processed around 900. Of them, the authorities rejected 800 applications for funds, mostly because the applicants did not live in the buildings owned by the owner.
As of September 9, the city had approved only 45 applications and allocated $450,000 in total.
The numbers were shared by someone familiar with the contents of the call, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to share the data, which has yet to be made public.
In December, the federal government approved the Emergency Rental Assistance Fund. Jersey City Council voted to accept the $7.8 million in March, meaning the city government sat on the money for months before opening the application process on August 17. Much later in New Jersey than programs in other locations, including nearby Hudson County and elsewhere.
Fulop spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said the city waited until August 17 to begin its application process because it had to “make sure it had the right technology and resources to manage and comply with the process” – a clarification. Who doesn’t find out why the city was so far behind other places in the country.
To be clear, Jersey City isn’t alone in slowing down. According to the latest Treasury Department data from the Emergency Rent Assistance Fund, 89% of the $46.5 billion available to states, cities and counties was not delivered till the end of July. at least 50 of those places didn’t even send a penny, according to one analysis.
Wallace-Scalcione previously said that Jersey City officials focused on buildings operated by smaller owners because they wanted to make sure there would be a shift in how small landlords would receive the funds.
“We knew that if we opened up the program widely, there would be some very large developers/landlords who are more organized money exhausted with several hundred of their unit buildings,” she told last week.
Yet the vast majority of applicants have been denied funding anyway. Wallace-Scalcione said the plan for the program was always to start with buildings operated by smaller owners, and then, in two-week increments, expand to larger buildings.
But more than a month after the city launched its program, it hasn’t expanded or reopened. And if the program gets its application process up and running again in October, a critical deadline will have already passed.
If state and local governments have not obliged up to 65% of their funds As of the end of September, the Treasury Department has the authority to withdraw the money and redistribute it to locations that have sent the money more efficiently.
Wallace-Scalcione said last week that the Fulop administration is believe It could meet the federal deadline.