Phil Murphy’s Promise to Increase Minimum Wage Will Help Low-Income New Jereyans But More Affordable Housing Still Needed
A November 11, 2017 NJ Advance Media for NJ.Com article, “Here are 19 big promises GOv.-elect Phil Murphy made to you during the campaign” reports on Phil Murphy’s campaign promises none of which involve plans to end homelessness or create affordable housing.
“Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy’s road to the Statehouse was paved with progressive promises. He’s vowed to strengthen New Jersey’s gun laws, he’s backed a $15 an hour minimum wage and he wants to make community college tuition-free for all New Jerseyans.
Some, like fully funding government worker pensions, will take time, he said, while he could make good on others, like legalizing marijuana, within his first 100 days in office. Now that he’s clinched the office in a big win over Republican Kim Guadagno, here’s a reminder of Murphy’s campaign promises.”
His other promises include
- Fully fund schools
- Free community college
- Raise the minimum wage
- Ending PARCC as a graduation requirement
- Protect “Dreamers”
- Restore Millionaires tax
- Restore family planning funding
- Divest from hedge funds
- Close tax loopholes
- Reverse Christie on guns
- Mandate earned sick leave
- Fight gender pay discrimination
- Raise the Earned Income Tax Credit
- Rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
- Boost Voter Participation
- Fight Addiction
- A Better NJ Economy
Hopefully, his promises to raise the minimum wage and raise the Earned Income Tax Credit will come true. A higher minimum wage and an increased EITC might ease slightly the rent burden of low-income households.
But even with the $15/hour minimum wage, safe, affordable housing may still be too out of reach for too many New Jerseyans. And to meet their needs, the creation of affordable housing is desperately needed in our state.
The increasing gap between incomes and rents affects many members of our community. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition‘s Out of Reach Report, in New Jersey, in order to afford a modest two-bedroom home, a family must earn an hourly wage of $27.31, far more than the state’s average hourly wage of $17.86 or the $8.44 minimum wage.
The Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom rental in New Jersey is $1,420/month. A family must earn $56,810 annually to make this affordable.
A minimum wage worker would have to work 129 hours per week year-round to be able to afford a two-bedroom home at FMR.