Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dean Kemph - Former Hoboken Activist Says Vote No to Question #2 on Rent Control

Former Hoboken resident Dean Kemph and long time activist chimes in on Question #2 which is on the ballot for this election day concerning rent control. A yes vote allows for immediate vacancy control on buildings with 1-4 units. A no vote keeps the current regulation the same...

"Kudos to Mayor Zimmer for her opposition to Hoboken Public Question #2 with regard to rent control.  Although vacancy decontrol, on the surface, may seem to have logical elements to those unaccustomed to Hoboken's long history of landlord transgressions; the amendment, as currently constituted, does little more than lay down a welcome mat for expansion of the tenant harassment, so callously dismissed by Ron Simoncini and the Mile Square Taxpayers Association, that has plagued Hoboken for decades.  I acted as an advocate for dozens of tenants in the past, and I know how real the attempts to intimidate can be.
Not only are far stricter penalties with consistent and emphatic enforcement for violations demanded as Dawn suggests; tenants should also be formally and officially advised of their rights under state and local statute so landlords can no longer play on their ignorance. We've all been distracted by this storm, so I don't have time for one of my more colorful rants - but if you've ever given credence to any of my observations before, please pay particular attention to this one.  The deceptive wording of the ordinance, pledging a continuation of tenant protection, is particularly insidious.  There may well be room to move on the rent control issue in Hoboken.  But not this way.
Please vote NO on Hoboken Public Question #2."
- Dean Kemph

Editor's Note: Dean Kemph is a former Hoboken resident who now resides Weehawken but is still very concerned about the future of Hoboken. He outspoken and dryer than the average flood beleagured Hobokenite as he is a hghlander from the upper topography of Weehaken.

I also agree with Dean in principle. I am no fan of rent control as a public policy intiaitive for affordable housing. It lacks a means test. With that said unwinding the policy has to be done more carefully than what is proposed here. Perhaps a waiting period for condo owners of 3-5 years before units come off rent control would be in order. I have friends in Hoboken who are on fixed incomes and I have concern over how this legislation would effect them. For me it is not only about policy but personal. Rent Control reform should be done more gradually with better protections and waiting periods and that is why I voted no on Public Question 2 this morning. It was a difficult decision but I thought the morally right one. It is also a decision that perhaps goes against my best financial interests personally since I am a condo owner.
I eencourage each resident of Hoboken that has not already done so to carefully consider the impact of what a yes vote would mean to certain individuals and vote your conciense. This is a complex social and economic issue.