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Ruiz and Cruz-Perez Bill Requiring Emergency Contact Information Posted for Tenants Clears Senate

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez that would require emergency contact information to be made available to every tenant and prospective tenant of multiple dwellings was approved today by the full Senate.

“This bill will make it easy for tenants to access emergency contact information and navigate the system in order to get the assistance they need in a timely and effective manner,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex) “The 2-1-1 system is a great resource to have available to residents, who often face challenges trying to access and learn about services available to them in our state, so having this information available is beneficial.”

The bill, S-3212, requires the emergency contact information to be posted in bold face print in at least one visible area to tenants and on the internet website of any management company that manages a tenant-occupied, multiple dwelling. This information will be provided in English and Spanish and will include emergency contact instructions, and the name, address, and telephone number of an individual representative of the owner or managing agent, who may be reached or contacted at any time in the event of an emergency affecting the premises or any unit or dwelling space, in accordance with the landlord registration requirements established by law.

Under the bill, instructions on how to access and use the 2-1-1 telephone system, which provides information and referrals to health, human, and social service organizations, including information concerning housing resources which will be made available to tenants.

“In many instances tenants find themselves lost when trying to access or get services or resources they and their family might need. It is especially difficult for tenants who do not speak English, so having landlords make this contact information visible and easily accessible to them is important,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden-Gloucester).

In New Jersey, the 2-1-1 system is managed by the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership, a subsidiary of the United Way of New Jersey which, in 2002, was designated by the Board of Public Utilities as the sole administrator.

“This new system will help ensure that these vital services reach as many people as possible,” said Ruiz.