May 4, 2022


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Newark, NJ – May 4, 2022 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced a wide-ranging package of proposed measures to mitigate the effects of the purchase of owner-occupied homes by large-scale investors in a press conference at City Hall. The proposed initiatives are in addition to the Mayor’s numerous programs to increase homeownership, prevent evictions, avoid gentrification, and make housing in Newark more equitable.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this decade-long national trend in residential real estate which results in rapidly rising rents, decreased homeownership, reduced availability of affordable housing, renter displacement, and less stable communities.

Mayor Baraka praised “Who Owns Newark,” a research report authored by David D. Troutt, Distinguished Professor of Law; Director of the Rutgers Center on Law, Inequality and Metropolitan Equity (CLiME) and a member of the City’s Equitable Growth Advisory Commission for providing data and recommendations to inform the City’s response. The City will work with the Equitable Growth Advisory Commission to address issues raised by “Who Owns Newark.”

“In cities and even suburbs across America, institutional investors are eroding the American dream of homeownership as they convert owner-occupied homes into corporately owned rental units,” Mayor Baraka said. “In Newark, where we have worked hard for years to expand homeownership, we will do everything possible to combat this dangerous trend. The CLiME report signals that Newark must create stronger and more equitable laws, regulations, and policies to ensure that residents share in the growth of our city.”

“Our report shows that the national trend of investor buying of one-to-four unit homes in predominantly Black neighborhoods is acute in Newark where almost half of all real estate sales were made by institutional buyers,” said Mr. Troutt. “This trend grew out of the foreclosure crisis that wiped out significant middle-class wealth in Newark. Mayor Baraka’s actions are important steps toward maintaining affordability of rents and homeownership, discouraging speculation and demanding transparency of ownership.”

Mayor Baraka announced the following actions:

  • Will urge the Governor, State legislators, and the Municipal Council to create a coordinated state and local policy to address the effects of large-scale corporate ownership of private homes.
  • Will submit legislation to the Municipal Council to make it unlawful to solicit offers without residents’ permission (e.g., through mail, knocking on doors, phone calls).
  • Will submit legislation to the Municipal Council to bring more transparency to limited liability companies (LLCs) who are purchasing private properties to keep them accountable.
  • Will submit legislation to the Municipal Council covering properties not under rent control to impose fees on renting and landlord registrations for property owners and landlords that increase rents above five percent year over year. These fees will be directed to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and used to fund the creation of new affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for Newark residents.
  • Add a deed restriction to all City-owned and Land Bank properties, which will require the properties to be affordable.
  • Will convene a meeting in the coming month with investors, developers of color, and community development corporations to develop further strategies on how Newark can work to invest in under-invested and disinvested communities.
  • The administration will review all recommendations proposed in the CLiME report and develop an action plan to ensure community development takes place in all five of Newark’s wards.

“The report provides rigorously researched empirical data which validates the perception and experiences of many residents and community development organizations,” said Richard Cammarieri, New Community Corporation (NCC) Director for Special Projects; Chair of Newark Community Development; and Member of the Equitable Growth Advisory Commission. “The Equitable Growth Advisory Commission and the network of community development corporations look forward to working with Mayor Baraka to address the issues related to rampant speculator property acquisition in our neighborhoods.”

Since 2014, Newark’s initiatives and programs have focused on closing the racial wealth gap that will be exacerbated by the conversion of owner-occupied homes into corporate rentals.

Among the work the City has done to provide affordable housing and home ownership are:

  • Doubling the Live Newark Program to help residents become first-time homebuyers.
  • Implemented the Neighborhood Development Program, which turns city-owned land into residential and affordable housing.
  • Allocated a $20 million investment to create housing affordable to residents at a $34,000 income level.
  • Using Land Bank properties to create Section 8 homeownership opportunities.
  • Created the NJ Forty Acres and a Mule Fund (NJ FAM Fund) that will invest $100 million into real estate development and small business development for Black and Latinx partners.


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