Public Notices and Press Releases

Office of Eviction Prevention Recognized for Helping New Jersey’s Vulnerable Populations

Office Receives “In the Trenches” Public Entity Partner Award from The Waterfront Project, Inc.

Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced that its Office of Eviction Prevention (OEP) has been honored with the “In the Trenches” Public Entity Partner Award by The Waterfront Project, Inc. This recognition, presented during the Justice for All Gala on June 27, 2024, highlights OEP's contributions to eviction prevention, tenant support, and advocacy for the state's most vulnerable populations.

The Waterfront Project, Inc. is a nonprofit legal services center providing free civil legal representation, assistance, and advocacy to residents of Northern New Jersey who are asset-limited, income-constrained, homeless, or disenfranchised.

At DCA, it is our mission to improve the quality of life for residents of New Jersey,” said DCA Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez. “This award is a testament to the collective effort of the Office of Eviction Prevention’s dedicated team. This recognition underscores their unwavering commitment to helping vulnerable populations and ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to thrive.”

OEP administers various programs and services focused on eviction prevention and diversion, including rental assistance, social services support, and expanded access to legal counsel for low-income tenants facing or threatened with eviction. Additionally, the office handles general inquiries about landlord-tenant rights and publishes the bi-annual Truth in Renting Guide. OEP collaborates closely with nonprofit community-based organizations to disseminate resources and provide direct outreach to at-risk tenants.

We’re incredibly grateful for this recognition and deeply honored by it. I share this award with my team and with our leadership team at DCA, including DCA Commissioner Suárez and Division of Housing Assistant Commissioner Winter,said Office of Eviction Prevention Director Dean Dafis.I’m proud of our administration’s strong commitment to and support for our efforts in solving homelessness and building greater equity in housing resources. This award is particularly special because we’re receiving it from a true partner in housing justice, tireless advocates in opening the door a little wider, leveling the playing field, in defending housing as a human right for all - thank you Waterfront Project!

The Office of Eviction Prevention offers several resources, including the Comprehensive Eviction Defense & Diversion (CEDD) program, which provides eligible low-income households with free access to attorneys and resource navigators. These professionals advocate for tenants in court, negotiate settlements with landlords, and connect them to necessary resources such as rental assistance and relocation support. DCA’s Office of Homelessness Prevention also offers various programs, including the Homelessness Prevention Program and the Homelessness Diversion Pilot, to assist those at risk of homelessness.

More information about the Office of Eviction Prevention is available at OEP's website.

The Division of Housing and Community Resources is dedicated to strengthening neighborhoods through affordable housing and supportive services, providing financial and technical assistance for community and economic development projects aimed at improving the quality of life for residents, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.

For more information about DCA, visit DCA's website.

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