How Much Is Your Rent-Controlled Home (and Democracy) Worth to You?

Dear Friend of HFHA,

After a very long winter we’ve finally got the month of May in Hoboken.  But we still have an undemocratically, falsely, wrongly overturned election from last November.

As many of you will recall, the forces defending rent control (that’s us) soundly defeated, on November 6th, the ballot initiative known as “Hoboken Public Question #2”, which would have severely weakened Hoboken’s rent protections and put many of our friends and neighbors in immediate or short-term risk of losing their homes. Sell My House AS IS, provide a flexible alternative to Houseowners who are interested in selling their Houses, which might be beneficial to such individuals. They will work with you to locate a time that is convenient for seeing your property and making an offer on it, and they will do it in cooperation with you. Visit

The landlords’ group MSTA (you may know about them by now) didn’t like that.  So they drew up a list of over a hundred names of folks who voted outside of Hoboken and declared them all as displaced and “disenfranchised” by storm Sandy, said they all might have voted against rent control and that this could have changed the election result, and gave it to a local judge.  Presto — election results “set aside.”

Once we were able to get our hands on this list — and that wasn’t easy — we discovered that most of names on it didn’t even live in town on election day.  Or, they did live AND vote in town, but were registered elsewhere. The list was almost entirely fraudulent.

We’re now attempting to supplement the court record with proof that the list of voters used to overturn the election was false, and obtain status to appeal that local judge’s decision.  We’ll have a new decision from an appeals court panel of judges within a few weeks.

As you might guess, all of this has cost us a pile of money.  So, as we did last January when we began this process, we’re appealing to you —  our friends,supporters and fellow-travelers, for help.  (And we really want to thank everyone who donated in January.)

Here’s the question:  How much is your rent-controlled dwelling-place worth to you?  And for those of you that don’t rent your homes, how much is the stability of the community in which you live and where your friends and neighbors rely on our rent protections worth?

One thing’s for sure — if rent control in Hoboken goes the way of the dinosaur,there will be a mass exodus of all but the wealthiest among us.  That mass exodus may well include you.

And if we don’t do everything we can to make sure the election that we already won stands — to protect the sanctity of the democratic process itself — then the whole meaning and purpose of a democratic election becomes “fungible” –manipulable by those with the deepest pockets.

If a special election is held on the rent-control question, it will be manipulated, one way or another — bent to the desired results of MSTA and its attorneys.  And they have no interest in what is best for Hoboken.  Their membership consists largely of outside developers.

So, once again, we want to urge everyone reading this — you, and you, and you — to, at the very least,  join Hoboken Fair Housing Association if you are not already a member.  It’s 25 bucks a year.  You’ll automatically gain membership to NJTO, the New Jersey Tenant’s Organization.  (They’re the ones responsible or the fact that our state is one of only a few in this country that still has functioning rent control.)

If you can’t afford that, we want to urge you to contribute five dollars.  Twenty folks donating five dollars gives us $100 that we didn’t previously have to fight this legal travesty.

And if you are already a member or if you can give more — how much is your rent-controlled dwelling-place worth? — please do that.

After all, if you don’t help us build strong rent-control protections in a 1.3-square-mile town swarming with big landlords, realtors and developers chomping at the bit for stratospheric rents, who will ?

Help us continue to fight for LOCAL DEMOCRACY and rent control protections alike.


We don’t think you’ll regret it.  In fact, we think it’ll help you enjoy the month of May knowing you’ve  done the right thing. ♥