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A new fund in Lakewood, New Jersey, will provide undocumented residents with assistance to pay rent. Under the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, immigrants in the area may be able to cover up to three months of back rent. The intake process began in March and involves a 40-minute interview. The township estimates $200,000 will be needed to help people affected by the pandemic. On average, tenants are two months behind on rent. Gov. Phil Murphy also extended the eviction moratorium until two months after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared officially over. Asbury Park Press
In other New York immigration news…
Street Vendors Celebrate Removal of NYPD From Enforcement
Street vendors welcomed a new policy that will move enforcement of vendor code violations from the New York City Police Department to a civilian agency, but questions remain on what drove the sudden switch. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that the NYPD will no longer be in charge of ticketing street vendors for code violations amid a wave of pressure to defund the police department. The decision was celebrated by The Street Vendors Project, an organization that represents thousands of street vendors in New York City that had pushed for the policy for years. Still, onlookers were surprised to see it come in response to calls for radical changes to the NYPD. Councilmembers who had been working on legislation to end NYPD enforcement of street vendors codes were not consulted, nor was the Street Vendors Project. The mayor’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Read more at Documented
Camden Police Restructuring Included Regular Outreach to Undocumented
Camden, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia, has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the country, but some say that’s changing. In 2013, the city dissolved its police department and rebuilt it from the ground up, prioritizing “community-oriented policing” and de-escalation. Sister Veronica Roche, a nun with the Sisters of St Joseph in Camden, works with undocumented immigrants in the city. She says the cops have held frequent meetings with immigrant groups to reassure them they would not be in danger of deportation if they report a crime. “I don’t think there’s any fear that the Camden police would be working with ICE. There’s a lot of trust in the community.” The Financial Times