Need to Address Gap Between Housing and Wages
Target Sandy Funding For Affordable Homes
Statewide, an estimated 59% of renter households are unable to afford the Fair Market Rent (FMR) of $1,296 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.
“This housing wage is almost two and a half times the proposed increased minimum wage of $10.10 an hour. This should cause great concern for advocates and policy makers working to create new affordable homes and end homelessness in New Jersey. An affordable rental home is often not even attainable for a household with two full time wage earners.”
Said Monarch Housing Associates CEO Richard Brown.
The data below tells a more detailed picture of New Jersey’s bleak affordable housing picture:
- A family must earn a monthly wage of $4,320 and an annual wage of $51,838 to afford a two-bedroom apartment in New Jersey.
- A minimum wage worker would have to work 121 hours for 52 weeks per year to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment; and
- The typical renter in the state earns $16.34 an hour, $8.58 an hour less than the hourly wage needed to afford a modest two-bedroom rental at FMR. The minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.25 an hour.
These facts point to the need for the State of New Jersey to increase its investment in affordable homes. To be considered affordable, no more than 30% of a household’s income should be spent on housing.
The affordable housing crisis in New Jersey is compounded by the state’s failure to spend its federal Sandy recovery money on the households who were most affected. In New Jersey, 43% of those impacted by Sandy are renters and of that number, 67% make less than $30,000 a year according to a study released by Enterprise Community Partners in 2013. The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) has requested $60 million of the next round of recovery funds be dedicated to housing vouchers.
“Monarch Housing applauds the efforts of the Network to ensure that the State’s Action Plan for Sandy recovery should increase affordable rental home opportunities for people most effected by Sandy. This new Out of Reach data reinforces the critical need to address the needs of renters affected by Sandy.”
In New Jersey, NLIHC releases this report jointly with the Network. It provides the Housing Wage and other housing affordability data for every state, metropolitan area, combined non-metropolitan area, and county in the country.
Monarch Housing Associate’s mission is to expand the supply, accessibility and variety of affordable, permanent supportive housing through development, planning, advocacy and partnerships.