Civic Trustees Alfonso Faura, and Jose Amarante presented to the Perth Amboy City Council a resolution to call on the New Jersey Legislature to adopt legislation ending the tenant blacklist, which serves as a disincentive for tenants to go to court when landlords unfairly evict them because it will make it difficult to rent a new apartment.
Persuaded by the presentation, the Perth Amboy City Council passed the resolution at their next meeting.
The adoption of this state legislation is essential to maximize the effectiveness of an initiative being advanced by Civic Trusts in a number of cities to arm low-income tenants with pro bono attorneys when they face evictions or other legal actions by landlords that they perceive as unfair. Otherwise when they go to court they are at a huge disadvantage as the landlords nearly always have legal representation.
The goal overall is to keep people in their homes when at all possible. This strengthens neighborhoods and limits homelessness.
Arming low-income tenants with pro bono attorneys is an idea advanced by The Citizens Campaign Law and Policy Task Force member, Professor Paula Franzese, the Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law at Seton Hall Law School.