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How do you spell housing crisis?

In New Jersey the housing crisis has always been self-evident. However, this weeks release of new census data the answer is now crystal clear.

According to the data as reported today by the Star-Ledger, “Fully 17.1 percent of all New Jersey homeowners used half or more of their income to pay mortgages, property taxes and utilities in 2006, the Census reported. The percentage of householders in that category was up from previous years; in 2005, they represented 15.3 percent of mortgage holders, in 2004, 13.8 percent.”

For renters “New Jersey rentals were ranked the third most expensive in the country, behind Hawaii and California. The median cost of an apartment in 2006 was $974 per month. Like homeowners, many tenants spend a huge proportion of their income on shelter. Around one-fourth of New Jersey renters also spent 50 percent of their income on rent last year, according to the Census.”

In addition, “In New Jersey, where housing costs have been growing faster than income, the share of homeowners spending at least half of their income on housing costs is significantly higher than in the U.S. overall, the Census found. Nationwide, the figure is 13.9 percent. New Jersey’s median monthly housing costs ($2,130) as the nation’s second highest, after California.”

What do you think about the new data? Share your comments.

As the data becomes available online links will be provided.

by Richard W. Brown

Richard W. Brown, has more than forty-two years experience in both housing development and community organizing. Since 1991 Mr. Brown has been the Chief Executive Officer of Monarch Housing Associates, the 1995 Governor’s Excellence in Housing Award winner in the organization category.. To read more about Richard and all of our staff click here. Click here to send Mr. Brown an email.

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