A new law was passed by the New Jersey Assembly on January 13 that will ban homeowners in Hudson County from converting their property to condominium and will have far-reaching consequences:

Many 2-4 Family homeowners have been renovating and converting their properties, allowing them to sell some of their property while maintaining their own unit. Especially for seniors, this has enabled them to stay in their communities when they retire while achieving financial security.

Jersey City Heights alone has generated property tax revenue growth of more than $2 million per year each year for the last 4 years from condo conversions. Had it not been for these conversions, single-family homeowners would have had to absorb the burden of increased municipal costs in Jersey City.

The costs of these conversions are borne by new residents who can afford to purchase renovated properties and prefer to own rather than rent. Those new residents—who bring spending power to our communities—would now have no new options to purchase.

Time and again, constraining property rights leads to shortages of housing, especially for low-income families who are then forced to find alternatives – sending them to other parts of the State that may not be prepared to support their needs.

Given all these negative impacts we would hope that the Governor won’t sign this bill and realize it was hurried through as a result of political strong-arming. And we also would think that Hudson County’s municipalities would oppose giving up their home rule to the will of the Legislature.