Phil Murphy’s Touted COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program Failed, Republicans Claim

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By Senator Michael Testa, NJ Senate

TRENTON, NJ – Senator Michael Testa slammed the Murphy Administration’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CVERAP) after a report revealed that it failed to provide payments to hundreds of tenants across New Jersey.

“This program was a failure for renters, for landlords, and for taxpayers in our state,” said Testa (R-1). “Once again, the Murphy Administration’s ambitious rhetoric met reality and their slipshod approach wasted time and money which could have been used to keep families safe. This is a slap in the face to all residents struggling to pay rent—our families deserve better.”

An investigation by NJ Advance Media into the failed program revealed that hundreds of tenants who were approved for assistance never received the payments from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which eventually led to eviction proceedings.

New Jersey renters have been experiencing the fallout of the DCA’s assistance program since December 2021. Many tenants who did not receive their checks, or were issued an incorrect check, said they were told their cases were being investigated, but they were given no timeline for a resolution. In fact, no direction was given on what would happen if the funds could not be recovered.

“Since the beginning of this ill-fated assistance program, my office received hundreds of calls from either renters stressed about their next month’s rent or landlords worried about paying their mortgage,” added Testa. “There was a total lack of urgency from the governor while all sides of the rental community were suffering. The tenants and landlords of this state deserve answers.”

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Testa’s District Office was inundated with calls from constituents over the past two years who expressed their frustration about the program. Common issues included: waiting months to receive a check; checks being mailed to the wrong address; and checks made payable to the wrong entity—which required waiting months to have the checks reissued correctly.