translate icon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Plainfield, NJ: Ensuring Housing Security and Tenant Support Following Condemned Building Situation - Progress Update



Plainfield, NJ: Ensuring Housing Security and Tenant Support Following Condemned Building Situation - Progress Update

Plainfield, NJ - October 11, 2023 - The City of Plainfield is taking decisive actions to support tenants who were forced to vacate the condemned buildings at Kensington and W. 7th St., ensuring their well-being and housing security in the face of this challenging situation. The city is implementing a comprehensive plan that encompasses legislative changes, legal efforts, collaborative initiatives, and more.

We are pleased to report significant progress in the city's efforts to assist these families. Of the 73 families that have reached out to the City and the three collaborating agencies:

Seven (7) families remain in temporary hotel accommodations, receiving the support they need as the city works towards long-term solutions. Thirty-eight (38) families have been successfully and permanently rehoused, ensuring their continued safety and well-being.

Twenty-eight (28) families are currently staying with family members or friends while actively searching for an apartment. These families will receive rental assistance once they secure a new unit, underscoring the city's commitment to providing crucial support during this transitional period.

It's essential to note that these statistics do not account for a subset of families that agencies have been unable to connect with. This disconnect may be attributed to various factors, including disconnected phone lines and refusals of services. These families remain a priority for the City of Plainfield, which is actively working to overcome barriers and ensure that assistance reaches every affected family.

The city's dedication to the well-being of its residents is unwavering, and efforts will persist to leave no family behind.

Legislation Updates: In a proactive move, the City of Plainfield has amended its ordinance to require that rental units with more than four units undergo inspections by the city every other year. This change is aimed at enhancing safety and habitability for tenants and promoting timely maintenance and repairs.

Additionally, the city is introducing a significant enhancement to redevelopment agreements with developers. Developers will now be required to contribute $5,000 annually to a fund dedicated to assisting tenants affected by condemnations. This fund will play a crucial role in supporting tenants during challenging times.

Rent Receiver Lawsuit: The city is actively pursuing a rent receiver to manage rental income from currently functioning buildings owned by Cyclone LLC. The funds acquired through this measure will be used to rehabilitate the condemned buildings, expediting the process of making them safe and habitable again.

Collaboration and Monitoring: The City of Plainfield is committed to close collaboration with the three agencies funded by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to provide assistance to displaced tenants. The city and these agencies maintain a shared list of affected tenants, ensuring that no individual falls through the cracks. Monitoring of every interaction with the affected residents is a top priority.

Engagement with Local Developers: The city has proactively engaged local developers to harness their support in finding suitable housing solutions for displaced tenants. These developers are contributing valuable information about available units, streamlining the transition process for those in need. Importantly, efforts have been made to remove barriers, including immigration status, from the application process.

Rental Assistance: Plainfield is actively providing rental assistance both at the local level and through collaborations with state agencies. This support is designed to ensure that tenants affected by condemnations have access to safe and secure housing options.

Building Code Compliance: The city is working closely with the building owners to bring their properties up to code. The owners have been provided with pre-inspection inspections to clearly identify necessary safety improvements. Despite these efforts, to date, they have failed to make the required life and safety changes, resulting in a recent inspection failure.

Condemnation Redevelopment Area Study: The Planning Board has been instructed to conduct a study for a condemnation redevelopment area with the aim of attracting new developers. This move will leverage the city's redevelopment agreements to ensure that all tenants are rehoused and that rents remain affordable.

The City of Plainfield remains dedicated to the welfare of every resident and improving the quality of life across the city. These follow-up actions demonstrate a commitment to providing essential housing and support to those affected by the recent condemnation. We will continue to provide updates on the progress of these initiatives and are confident that, through collaboration and commitment, the city will overcome these challenges and ensure the safety and well-being of all residents.