Author Archives: HFHA

  1. More Disturbing News

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    Yesterday there were a total of 44 units listed for rent in #Hoboken.

    There were 224 short term rentals (STRs) available of which 203 were full apartments.
    The occupancy rate on the STRs in Hoboken is 65% (146 units.)

    This, of course, does not count the number of warehoused rentals in Hoboken.


  2. On Development and Community

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    While the article is referencing a suburban area, the concept of examining how luxury development lowers everybody’s quality of life is worth some exploration…particularly here in Hoboken.

    The article takes aim (rightfully) at Transit Oriented Development (TOD) lays down how the misconception that highest and best use also means that land should yield the highest and best dollar.

    Read Article

  3. AirBnB, short-term rentals (STR) and Hoboken

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    Been doing some research on AirBnB and short-term rentals (STR) & from the various studies I’ve read there are a few things that are pretty clear:

    1) They contribute substantially to transforming residential areas into tacit tourist districts creating a more transient, consumption-oriented built environment

    2) They create yet another form of local displacement: buy-to-let gentrification, displacing residents with tourists and creating greater housing insecurity

    3) They contribute further to the financialization of housing in a way that is destructive to what we think of as the “community.” STRs can easily be used as a place to store surplus capital with total flexibility to sell at a moment’s notice ‘tenant free’ – the modern day version of ‘delivered vacant’

    4) There is an exceedingly detrimental impact on the traditional private rental market that, among other things, promotes exclusionary displacement as new residents are unable to move in.

    5) On a local level, the buy-to-let economy inevitably enhances warehousing as properties are purchased as buy-to-leave properties (waiting for tenants to leave and not re-letting them)

    6) Tourist laden cities negatively impact property owners too via degradation of quality of life, increased crowding, loss of local shopping opportunities as stores cater to tourists rather than residents, etc.

    Hoboken electeds made a false-hearted attempt at local AirBnB legislation in 2020 that had no enforcement mechanism, only addressed rent-protected properties and was proposed, not so coincidentally. shortly after several press stories broke about one council member renting out his condo on AirBnB suggesting that the legislation intent was created to target that councilperson and not created to address the interplay between the STR market and our local housing market.

    To be true and well-intentioned, any airBnB, STR legislation passed in Hoboken needs to:

    1) reverse tenancy insecurity created through the STR market
    2) levies short-term occupation into a taxation framework that incentivizes long-term rentals
    3) reforms any fiscal benefits provided to foreign investors and financial institutions to whatever extent possible
    4) reconsiders the role of tourism as a sustainable form of economic growth in Hoboken
    5) contributes to the promotion of housing as shelter and not as an investment vehicle

    Other cities across the globe are taking on the complexities of addressing STRs. Here’s an example in Lisbon that Hoboken electeds might want to explore. What’s interesting about what is being done there is that they are also taking the opportunity to include green infrastructure, in this case, bike lanes, in the overall program.
    I’m hopeful that our new housing division has lots of well-researched ideas on how we can proceed with effective and appropriate ideas for STR legislation in Hoboken.

    Read More Here

  4. Private Equity Taking Over Hoboken?

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    With the dozen or so redevelopment agreements in the pipeline representing 100s upon 100s of new apartments, many of which will more than likely end up owned by private equity, it is incumbent on our elected representatives and, it is the mayor that negotiates these redevelopment agreements, to seek legal advice on how to build concrete protections for occupants of the exorbitant number of anticipated rental units forthcoming in these developments.

    Increasing the number of designated affordable units, creating a CLT controlling some sizable percentage of units, implementing rent protections into the redevelopment agreement (the city is currently doing this for commercial rentals in the Neuman Leather project) or some other protection must be built into these redevelopment agreements and, any new redevelopments anticipated.)

    Greystar, one of the private equity firms mentioned in the article already owns property in Hoboken. I haven’t checked any of the other private equity firms mentioned, but there is a good chance that, at least, some of them are here as well.

    Any and all residents that are concerned about escalating transience would be acting in their own best interest to unilaterally oppose any redevelopment that includes residential development unless and until the administration tackles this issue. It’s time to invest our legal resources, time and energy in ways that enhance the ‘community feel’ that everyone points to in Hoboken.

    Read More Here

  5. Important Community Meeting 10/15: the Hoboken Yard Redevelopment Plan. (NJ Transit)

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    There is a very important community meeting regarding proposed amendments to the Hoboken Yard Redevelopment Plan. (NJ Transit.)

    When: Tuesday, October 15, 7 PM
    Where: the Multi-Service Center, 124 Grand Street

    The city council will be voting on this plan amendments in the near future. The amended plan increases the density of the ends of the existing plan fotos eroticas antiguas by 60% and leaves the middle to be discussed in the future.

    The administration is pretending that the plan is getting smaller by not mentioning the future development.

    Please attend and be LOUD. Let the city council members know that we do NOT want an increased NJ Transit Redevelopment – NOT NOW – NOT EVER.

    See more details in Events.

  6. Local Election Watch on Affordability and Displacement

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    A clip from today’s Hudson Media Group 6th Ward debates between 2 of the 3 candidates running in the 6th Ward. Frank Rosner (challenger) and Jen for Hoboken – 6th Ward Councilwoman (Jen Giattino – incumbant.) Cristin Cricco-Powell did not attend (challenger.)

    The question was:

    How will you keep Hoboken’s rent protections in place with so many absentee property owners trying to weaken it?

    Frank states that we should maintain the rent control laws. He focuses mostly on commercial properties and the vacant storefronts in town.

    Jen’s immediate response was, ‘keep me as your council person’ (as a way to ensure we keep our rent protections.) She shares how she became familiar with the issue of displacement since she was first elected and shares 2 specific incidents where she intervened and was able to help ensure that the tenants in displacement situations were able to stay in their homes.

    HFHA can verify that both of the situations to which Council President Giattino refers occurred and that both tenants, with her assistance, avoided displacement. One tenant was able to purchase her apartment (condo.) The other has, sadly, succumbed to the terminal illness he was dealing with at the time that the property owner attempted to increase his monthly rent via a hardship application by over 1K/mo. He was able to stay in his home until he passed away without a rent increase.

    Watch the entire taped debate HERE. (Note: some technical/audio tests at beginning, lol)


  7. Ranked Choice Voting

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    Kudos to Hoboken City Councilperson Emily Jabbour and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro for hosting an informative presentation on ranked choice voting (instant runoff) with Scott Siebel of FairVote and Renee Steinhagen of NJ Appleseed Public Interest Law Center

    Renee and Annette shared some thoughts on how to get the pending legislation moving and Scott explained what ranked choice voting is and the benefits of it:

    1) Promotes Majority Support
    2) Discourages Negative Campaigning!!!
    3) Provides More Choice for Voters

    Special applause to Annette who had the grace and presence to respond to the question that Scott posed to the attendees about our moolahoops experience in targetsignups the last (mayoral) election (plurality winner) for responding (paraphrase) ‘I don’t think we want to discuss the mayoral election.’

    (bullet point #2 is of particular benefit to Hoboken considering the behavior we saw from one particular campaign in mayoral election.)

    Watch this great video to understand:  What is Ranked Choice Voting?

  8. Remembering the Victims of the Hoboken Fires

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    Kudo’s to Hoboken’s own Rose Orozco for spearheading this effort!

    The Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project

    by Rose Orozco | September 16, 2019

    “It has long been a hope of mine that such a memorial would exist and once I had retired I began to research the fires, their impact on individuals and on this community that I love.
    I was here as were many others but these memories and stories need to be shared. We are not here to point fingers or to create chaos, instead we will give the families that were impacted, the victims who were horribly burned, the voiceless and deceased an opportunity to be heard with the simple act of naming the “unidentified” and to bring all that occurred out into the open.

    There is a Memorial for the Hobokenites who died on 911 built on Pier A. It takes nothing from them and we mourn their loss as well. Similarly, we should honor Hoboken’s fire victims and also remember Tom Olivieri who was the Tenant Advocate at the time and a champion for the population, mainly Hispanic, who were often the victims of these horrific fires.

    Hoboken needs a small memorial surrounded by flowers and/or trees and bushes where families and individuals could sit and reflect and remember those who died or who still bear the scars both physical and emotional of that time and and place.

    There are so many stories, some from families, neighbors and from the First Responders, Police and Fire and our young Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance members. We are all getting older and realistically have an expiration date yet unknown to us. I don’t want to leave this earth, this town, without opening a window into the past.

    We were here as were many others and saw people displaced from homes and community. We were scarred seeing babies and their mothers tossed out windows, caught by strangers while their families died. There was so much tragedy, so much pain and so little remorse or consequence for the arsonists. It is a story that needs to be told.

    I sincerely thank those who are visiting this site to honor all who suffered and died in the Hoboken fires. We are as Hoboken residents beginning this endeavor with the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project.”

    ~ Rose Orozco
    Hoboken retired nurse and resident

    A facebook page was created for the effort Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project. We encourage everyone to like the page in order to keep up with the project’s progress.


  9. News Announcement on The Fire Victims Memorial

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    Memorial Project Looks To Honor Victims Of Hoboken Fires


    WCBS 880, September 16, 2019

    HOBOKEN, N.J. (WCBS 880) — In the 1970s and 80s, a series of arson fires in New Jersey claimed dozens of lives. Now, the victims of those fires will be honored in a newly planned memorial.

    As WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg reports, the fires were set to tenement-like apartment buildings throughout Hoboken between 1973 and 1982. A total of 55 people were killed, many of them Hispanic families making very little money.

    “Most times, arson was suspected, because again it would be like 1:30 in the morning, it started on the roof,” said Rose Orozco. “Now how do you start it? You know, people might have pigeon coops on the roof, but pigeons don’t start fires.”

    She tells WCBS 880 that she remembers the fires all too well as a former nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital.

    Orozco notes that after the fires destroyed the apartment buildings, new condominiums were constructed and the city seemed to have forgotten about the victims.

    That’s why she started the Hoboken Fire Victims Memorial Project in an effort to identify the dead and honor them.

    “I just felt that it was important to remember this because most people don’t know anything about it,” she said.

    She hopes the project can also give police new leads as there were never any arrests in the arsons.

    Article reposted from WCBS 880

  10. Converting to RAD Programs

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    It is our understanding that the Hoboken Housing Authority buildings are converting to a RAD program. We encourage residents of the HHA to read the attached article. HFHA has no expertise in RAD programs. However, our note of caution is that Hoboken has a disastrous record of addressing the needs of all of Hoboken’s residents of lesser means. We have entered a period of hyper-gentrification where displacement is ignored.

    We encourage residents of the HHA as well as the dwindling number of residents concerned with affordability and displacement (dwindling owing to the failures of the current and previous administrations to address our housing crisis) to keep an eye on our conversations to RAD.

    Read: The Promise and Peril of HUD’s RAD Program