The study sheds light on the serious problems experienced by our nation’s most vulnerable citizens – extremely low-income people with significant and long-term disabilities.
In 2012 in New Jersey, a person with a disability received SSI benefits equal to $729 per month. Statewide, this income was equal to 14.0% of the area median income. A person with a disability receiving SSI would have to pay 129% of their monthly income to rent an efficiency unit and 146% of their monthly income for a one-bedroom unit.
Within New Jersey’s federally defined housing market areas the cost of a one-bedroom rental unit ranged from a low of 104% of SSI payments in the Ocean City housing market area to a high of 168% in the Bergen/Passaic housing market area.
This information in this table is from Table 3 of the report and indicates the % of Monthly SSI to Rent 1-Bedroom apartment.
Atlantic City/Hammonton – 129%
Bergen/Passaic – 168%
Jersey City – 153%
Middlesex/Somerset/Hunterdon – 158%
Monmouth/Ocean – 156%
Newark – 138%
Ocean City – 104%
Camden – 127%
Trenton/Mercer – 137%
Vineland/Millville/Bridgeton – 122%
Warren – 121%
“Nowhere in the United States can people with disabilities receiving SSI afford a safe, decent place to live,” stated Kevin Martone, Executive Director for TAC. “Yet taxpayer resources are spent exponentially on the costs associated with institutionalization and homelessness when more cost effective, proven solutions exist. I encourage our policy makers to consider the magnitude of this crisis and work in a bipartisan fashion to address this form of discrimination against our most vulnerable citizens.”
The study, which was funded by the Melville Charitable Trust, notes that the reform and expansion of HUD’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program and appropriations for the National Housing Trust Fund could help to create more integrated housing linked with community-based services and supports. TAC and CCD urge Congress to provide sufficient funding over the next five years to expand HUD’s innovative Section 811 PRA approach and to expand affordable housing opportunities for SSI recipients