Due to Rising Rents at Least Half NJ Renters Pay Over 35% of Income Towards Rent
On December 7, 2017, NJ Spotlight reports that “New Jersey Rents Go Through the Roof, If You Can Afford a Roof.”
Colleen O’Dea writes that the “Latest data from the Census Bureau show rents have risen faster than inflation, gobbling up a larger portion of income than in previous years.”
The recent 2016 American Community Survey reports that the number of rental units in New Jersey has increased but does not tell us how many of these new rental units are affordable.
“What is clear, though, is that the median rent paid in the state – $1,213 per month – was 1.3 percent higher in 2012 through 2016, compared with the period from 2007 through 2011, when adjusted for inflation. In more than 100 municipalities, the median rent rose by 10 percent or more, the data shows. At the same time, the proportion of households paying more than 35 percent of income on housing costs, a common measure of affordability, inched up to 44.1 percent. At least half of renters in 160 communities paid more than 35 percent of income on rent.”
New Jersey faces a housing affordability crisis with high and increasing rents. Housing costs in the state consume an ever growing share of income.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)’s annual 2017 Out of Reach report found that New Jersey is the seventh most expensive state to rent a two bedroom apartment out of the 50 United States and Washington, DC.
“NJ continues to be increasingly un-affordable for renters, as rents continue to rise but wages don’t,” said Staci Berger, executive director of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.
“Advocates are hopeful the incoming administration of Gov.-elect Phil Murphy will make the construction of more affordable housing a priority.”
“It is absolutely critical to our economic future that the incoming administration support efforts to create more affordable homes,” Berger said. “Our economy cannot thrive if people can’t afford to live here. That’s why we are urging the next administration to help us build a thriving New Jersey, with targeted investments in proven strategies.”
“Murphy has said that he plans to use affordable housing funds to build homes for those with low and moderate incomes.”