Legal fight against rent control in Montclair is reprehensible (Letter to the editor)
I have been a tenant in Montclair for 10 years, and a renter all of my adult life. I am a registered nurse, and although I am past retirement age, I am still working part-time (throughout the pandemic) so that I can afford to stay in Montclair and enjoy the many things it has to offer.
I am in a great location. I can walk to the shops and restaurants downtown, as well as the Clairidge theater, without worrying about the very difficult parking situation in town. I know my neighbors, and we have helped each other during this difficult time.
I have been following the current rent control issue, and I’m now working with the Tenants Organization of Montclair to organize for fair and reasonable rent increases for all. I appreciate the mayor and Township Council passing and extending the rent control freeze, and for their efforts in passing sustainable rent increases. As a senior citizen, the 2.5% rent increase cap would benefit me greatly and enable me to stay in a town that I have come to love.
It is reprehensible that this ordinance has been bogged down in legal challenges by developers and property owners. As tenants, we are at the mercy of unreasonable rent increases when they are imposed, as we have seen in many buildings in Montclair. A fair rent increase ordinance would enable many of us to stay here, and maintain the diversity that Montclair always prides itself on. The landlords and companies that would be included in the ordinance would still have enough revenue to maintain our buildings and make a reasonable profit.
I am urging the residents of Montclair to contact the Township Council and urge them to continue to support rent control measures that will allow our town to continue being the diverse and renter-friendly place it should be.
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