Individual Relocation Counseling for Holland Gardens residents is not anticipated to begin until 2021 at the earliest. Until this time, the JCHA is only able to provide general information about the Uniform Relocation Act (24 CFR § 983.7) and Holland Gardens.
The JCHA will continue to provide an updated list of answers to questions posed by residents and stakeholders about the relocation of Holland Gardens residents and the URA.
QUESTIONS CAN BE SUBMITTED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:
Accessibility and Communications
How will relocated residents know when the site is completed?
The JCHA is committed to maintaining active communication with resident heads of household regarding updates before, during, and after the relocation period. During the relocation period, JCHA will continue to have quarterly resident meetings at an accessible location. Additionally, the JCHA will maintain the Holland Gardens website and post updates on social media.
In advance of the completion of the project, JCHA will begin the reoccupancy process for relocated residents. When the appropriate unit for a relocated family becomes available at the completed site, the head of household will receive advance notification via certified mail. Additionally, the JCHA will call or email the Head of Household at this time. The Head of Household will then meet with a relocation counselor to assist them in transitioning back to the completed site. All temporarily relocated residents are responsible for communicating changes in contact information to the JCHA.
Throughout the relocation, all residents will be able to submit comments and questions via the Holland Gardens website and can direct all inquiries and seek updates from JCHA’s Department of Development, Modernization, and Sustainability at 201-706-2628 or via email at email@example.com.
I don’t speak English. Will JCHA provide a translator?
The JCHA is both obligated and committed to making all relocation documents, presentations, and relocation advisory services accessible to residents who feel more comfortable speaking a language other than English and/or residents who feel that documents or information about relocation are inaccessible to them due to a disability. If you have specific interpretation or translation needs, please contact the JCHA’s Department of Development, Modernization, and Sustainability at 201-706-2628 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will residents be moved out of Holland Gardens at one time or in phases?
Resident Heads of Household will be provided with a specific move-out date 90-days in advance. All move out dates will be within the same approximate period of time, but scheduled over the course of several weeks. Relocation will begin no earlier than Fall 2021.
How long will tenants be relocated?
While JCHA is unable to provide a specific timeline for redevelopment of the site at this time, the JCHA estimates that relocation will last for approximately 24-36 months based on construction timelines for past JCHA projects and similar projects. The JCHA will continue to update residents on updates to the timeline throughout the redevelopment process.
Will JCHA reimburse me for my moving costs out of Holland Gardens?
The JCHA is required under the Uniform Relocation Act to cover reasonable moving costs and related expenses associated with moving out of the site due to relocation. Reasonable moving costs include: packing materials, moving, unloading, disconnecting and/or reinstallation of certain household appliances and personal property, temporary storage, disconnection and reconnection of necessary utilities.
Further detail regarded moving costs will be provided in the forthcoming Relocation and Re-Occupancy Plan, at Quarterly resident meetings, and during individual Relocation Counseling.
I am disabled, will JCHA help me with my move?
Tenants with disabilities that affect their ability to pack their belongings will be provided with packing and moving assistance at no cost to the resident.
For residents who do not want to/are unable to take a Section 8 voucher, how will the JCHA help with their rental costs during relocation?
Residents who do not qualify for a Housing Choice Voucher because they exceed household income limits or who choose to not take a Housing Choice Voucher will have the option of moving to another public housing site and also may be eligible for Rental Assistance Payments for a 42-month period if they choose to rent in the private market. Prior to relocation, each resident will have the opportunity to meet with a relocation counselor to discuss their relocation options and ensure they qualify for replacement housing payments if they are eligible. Residents have the right to appeal the JCHA’s decision regarding resident eligibility for relocation assistance as well as the amount of the monetary relocation assistance they are offered.
Detailed information about resident options during relocation and about the appeals process will be included in the JCHA’s forthcoming Relocation and Re-Occupancy Plan.
Will I be able to be relocated to another housing authority’s public housing?
Each public housing authority (PHA) operates as a separate entity under HUD and, therefore, builds and maintains their own applicant waitlist. A resident currently living in JCHA public housing does not receive priority on another PHA’s waitlist.
All Jersey City Housing Authority public housing residents are free to sign up for the waitlist for any other Public Housing Authority for which they qualify and, upon receiving a subsidy, are able to “port” to the new housing authority. Under normal circumstances, when a resident moves or “ports” to a new housing authority they are no longer affiliated with the Jersey City Housing Authority. However, Holland Gardens residents who “port” to another housing authority after receiving their Notice of Relocation Eligibility will still be eligible to return to the completed project if they choose.
I am a previously relocated resident from Montgomery Gardens. Will I be able to move into the new Montgomery Gardens site when I leave Holland Gardens?
Prior to receiving a 90-day notice to vacate, tenants will meet individually with a relocation counselor to discuss relocation options including the option to move to another Public Housing site or one of the JCHA’s mixed-finance sites. Previously relocated tenants of Montgomery Gardens who are currently on the waitlist for return to Montgomery Gardens will remain on the waitlist until a unit becomes available at one of the completed site phases. Whether the tenant will be able to move immediately from Holland Gardens to the new Montgomery Gardens site is dependent on a few factors including: 1) the phase of construction that the new phase of Montgomery Gardens has reached at the time of relocation, 2) vacancies at completed Montgomery Gardens phases, and 3) the residents’ location on the waitlist for the site.
Housing Choice Vouchers
How will you ensure that all tenants will be able to find a place to live with a housing choice voucher?
Prior to relocation, the JCHA will be taking steps to ensure that all relocated residents are able to move to comparable replacement housing. These steps will include: prioritizing relocation residents for vacancies at public housing and mixed finance sites, conducting extensive landlord outreach, and prioritizing relocated residents for project-based vouchers on other affordable housing sites.
What If a tenant takes a section 8 voucher into the private market and the unit they rent becomes unaffordable as rents rise?
The JCHA is unable to limit the rental amount that a private landlord seeks to charge for a unit. If, upon renewal of the lease, a landlord that previously was part of the voucher program decides to raise the rent for a unit to an amount that goes beyond the maximum rental amount that the Housing Choice Voucher can approve, the JCHA will first attempt to negotiate a lower acceptable rent and if the landlord refuses to accept this amount the JCHA will assist the tenant in finding comparable replacement housing that qualifies for a voucher.
Will tenants who take Section 8 vouchers have to pay their own utilities?
The majority of private sector landlords require tenants to pay separately for utilities. Tenants will be coached by their relocation counselor and HCVP staff on how to set up a Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) account for utilities, how to pay utilities, and how to keep utility costs to a minimum. As part of relocation, JCHA will provide tenants with a security deposit loan to cover the cost of setting up a utility account. For households who pay their own utilities, a deduction from the Total Tenant Payment is given based on utilities paid by the tenant.
Will I have to pay a security deposit for my apartment if I take a Section 8 voucher?
The JCHA will provide security deposit loans to relocated Holland Gardens Heads of Household. The loans will be provided to the landlord by the JCHA and directly returned to the JCHA upon the tenant leaving the unit.
Will JCHA pay for broker or realter fees?
The Housing Choice Voucher Program does not receive funding to cover broker or realtor fees.
Can a housing choice voucher be taken out of New Jersey?
Yes. Heads of Household who choose to take a housing choice voucher are able to take the voucher outside of city limits, including out of state. The voucher, at this point, will be transferred to the PHA that administers the voucher program in the new location. Holland Gardens Residents who choose to move out of state after receiving their written Notice of Relocation Eligibility will still be eligible to return to the finished site upon completion.
Please note that residents who choose to move out of Jersey City or out of the state of New Jersey will only be reimbursed up to 50 miles for transportation expenses, according to URA standards.
Will the JCHA accommodate splits for adult children?
Authorized splits in public housing are not allowed by the JCHA. However, for the purposes of relocation the JCHA may allow certain households to split if the JCHA determines that an authorized split is necessary for the relocation period. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis. If a split is authorized, only the original head-of-household will maintain the right to return to the completed project (unless they choose to relinquish their right to another member of their household).