Resident FAQs

PLEASE NOTE: 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:

PLEASE NOTE: 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:

Jersey City Housing Authority Responses May 14, 2021

 

Who is eligible to return to the property under the Holland Gardens Right of Return Policy?

The JCHA Board of Commissioners adopted the Holland Gardens Right to Return Policy in October 2019 and the JCHA has hosted information sessions to provide a comprehensive overview of the policy.  See Hollands Gardens Right to Return Policy. Each household, which is comprised of those members on the lease, will have a right to return as long s/he “is not in violation of the terms of his or her lease, and/or has not been evicted from his or her temporary unit for good cause during the relocation period.  ‘Good cause’ shall be defined as any violation of the JCHA’s Admissions and Occupancy Policy (ACOP) or the JCHA’s Administrative Plan during the relocation period that results in lease termination or loss of subsidy.” Although the JCHA must verify income for the purpose of establishing the tenancy, returning Holland Gardens will not be “re-screened” to establish income eligibility, income targeting or credit history to determine whether the head of household and other members of the household may return to the redeveloped site.  For a comprehensive overview of the Policy, please see Relocation & Right of Return Presentation October 2019

 

How will the JCHA address residents that are currently under-housed? 

The appropriate unit size for returning households will be determined by the occupancy standards policy set forth in the Jersey City Admissions and Occupancy Policy (ACOP) and in accordance with local building standards and HUD criteria.  See Chapter 6 of the JCHA Admissions & Occupancy Policy.  Household size is determined by the number of authorized residents on the lease. All residents, whether they are under- or over-housed, will be offered an appropriately sized unit for their authorized household composition prior to relocation. 

 

How will parking access be determined for public housing residents at the redeveloped site?  Can there be a parking lot specifically set aside for public housing residents?

The proposed amendments to the Jersey Avenue Light Rail Redevelopment Plan require a minimum number of parking units.  As recently affirmed by the Jersey City Planning Division, this parking requirement will yield a minimum of 92 parking spaces for the replacement units. The JCHA will meet or exceed this requirement at the redeveloped site. The JCHA appreciates that there is a limited amount of parking available within the redevelopment area. Currently, Holland Gardens has only 38 spaces available for 192 Units and JCHA staff. This equates to a 20% parking capacity ratio. Given the limited number of parking spaces, parking was an important consideration during the Holland Gardens’ visioning charrettes.  As shown in the Holland Gardens Vision, the JCHA anticipates structured parking of at least 300 spaces for the anticipated 550 apartments, a significant increase in spaces available. Parking spaces will be equitably distributed without any preference for market-rate units. Additionally, because the Holland Gardens Vision calls for structured parking versus a parking lot, it will be much easier to prevent unauthorized use of on-site parking spaces, which is an ongoing challenge at the site.  We will not provide a separate, designated parking area for affordable units.  Parking for affordable and market-rate units will be in shared, structured parking facility.


Holland Gardens residents eligible to return to the redeveloped site will remain public housing residents. Therefore, as public housing residents, their rights to parking access will governed by the JCHA Parking Policy set forth in Chapter 10.13 of the JCHA Admissions and Occupancy Policy (ACOP) available on the JCHA website and at the Holland Gardens Office.  See JCHA Admissions & Occupancy Policy. The parking policy set forth in the ACOP outlines eligibility requirements, responsibilities and restrictions governing residents who seek to utilize parking at a JCHA site. Moreover, federal regulation mandates that any proposed future changes or updates to the ACOP require a public review process.  Proposed ACOP policy changes are considered during the JCHA’s Annual Plan process.

 

Will residents be able to participate in the selection process for the development partner?

HUD encourages resident participation in selection committees for mixed-finance developments and provides specific rules and guidance regarding the procurement process.  In particular, HUD requires that the public housing authority constitutes the majority membership of a selection committee, and that the residents have been trained in the procurement process.  JCHA Management will recommend the inclusion of one voting resident member and one alternate resident member on the selection committee.  The resident member and alternate must both be residents in good standing who are able to represent the entire Holland Gardens community in good faith and complete procurement training, and any other training required by HUD. All members of the selection committee must sign a statement of nondisclosure (confidentiality).  Pursuant to the HUD requirements, resident members of, or advisors to, a selection committees act as agents of the public housing authority and thus, are subject to the conflicts of interest provisions that govern the JCHA.  JCHA Management will also recommend inclusion of a city staff member with planning/development experience.  The composition of the selection committee for a development partner is subject to HUD review and guidance.   

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 re-occupancy 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 201-706-4628 or via email at hgrelocation@jcha.us.

 

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 201-706-4628 or via email at hgrelocation@jcha.us.  

 

Relocation

If I choose to relocate to public housing during relocation, will I be able to choose which public housing site I would like to move to?

If you choose to relocate to JCHA public housing, you will be able to provide your preferences for a public housing site to the Relocation Counselor. The JCHA's ability to relocate a resident to the preferred site depends on the availability of appropriately sized units at that site at the time of your relocation. Future vacancies cannot be determined or predicted at this time.

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 at least 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 Summer 2022.

 

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.

 

Will the JCHA provide me with money towards a down payment on a house?

If a tenant chooses to purchase a home upon leaving Holland Gardens due to revitalization, they may be eligible for down payment assistance under the Uniform Relocation Act. Down payment assistance amounts are calculated individually and do not exceed $7,200. A resident who elects to purchase a home and accept down payment assistance relinquishes their right to return to the completed project.

 

Re-Occupancy and Right to Return

 

Will JCHA reimburse me for my moving cost if I choose to return to Holland Gardens?

For households who choose to return to the completed project, the JCHA will cover or reimburse reasonable costs incurred from moving back to the site based on the guidelines put forth by the Uniform Relocation Act.

 

What if a landlord evicts a tenant due to no fault on the part of the tenant?

The Jersey City Housing Authority defines “in good standing” for HCV recipients as in compliance with the terms of the HCVP Administrative Plan. The tenant’s contract with their landlord is considered a separate agreement and, therefore, eviction of the tenant on the part of the landlord which is not related to a violation of the Administrative Plan will not affect a tenant’s ability to maintain their housing choice voucher or return to the completed project.

Additionally, the Jersey City Housing Authority’s Relocation team and HCVP staff will work with all relocated residents to ensure that families remain suitably housed during relocation.

 

How will the JCHA determine repayment plans for residents who have an outstanding balance at the time of Relocation?

As stated in the Right of Return Policy, the JCHA will work with residents who have an outstanding balance that does not include nonpayment of rent to create a repayment plan so that they are eligible to return. Residents with a balance will be eligible to return as long as they are on a repayment plan: they do not need to repay the balance in order to be eligible. A formal repayment policy for tenants is forthcoming and will be included in the Relocation and Reoccupancy Plan.

 

 

 

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 realtor 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 may only be reimbursed up to 50 miles for transportation expenses, according to URA standards.

Authorized Splits

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).