“New Jersey seniors looking for affordable housing may want to consider an apartment in East Orange.

The Essex County city just passed an ordinance that prohibits landlords from increasing the rent of all senior citizens, ages 65 or older, or disabled persons by more than 2 percent each year.

Only four states — California, Maryland, New York and New Jersey — and Washington D.C., allow for rent control. It is not, however, controlled at the state level, but is instead set by individual municipalities.

East Orange says its law is the first in New Jersey to apply to all senior citizens, regardless of income. It also covers people who are deemed “100 percent disabled” by the United States Government, according to the ordinance.

‘Seniors have a fixed income and it’s not fair for their rent to increase when their income isn’t increasing,’ said Mayor Ted R. Green. ‘We don’t want to push our seniors out of their community.’

First Ward Councilwoman Amy Lewis first introduced the legislation over a year and a half ago, when she was the chair of the Housing, Licensing and Inspection Committee. Current committee chair Tyshammie Cooper sponsored the ordinance.”

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