Rent increase could cause homelessness at NJ apartment complex

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Residents at the Jasontown II Apartments in Wallington received a big shock late September when their landlord sent them legal notice of a proposed 98 percent proposed rent hike.

Longtime resident Maria Fassullo says she can't afford for her $744 rent to double.

The complex, made up of 350 apartments, provides housing for low and middle-income residents. 

According to Mayor Walter Wargacki, 40 residents have expressed concern that the increase will force them into homelessness.

The residents have collected 20 signatures in order to fight this rent increase.

Kevin Orr, a lawyer who specializes in tenant law, hasn't seen such a large proposed increase in 25 years in practice.

"The real question is whether or not it's allowed under this particular statute," Orr said.

The landlord did not respond to interview requests, but according to the notice, the rent increase is needed to "pay normal operating, maintenance, and utility costs."

The state is reviewing the proposal and residents have 30 days to send in written comments.