The Gap in Affordable Homes: 73% of NJ’s Low-Income Renters Face Severe Cost Burden

The Gap: National Shortage of More Than 7.2 Million Affordable Homes

According to The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, the US faces a shortage of 7.2 million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low income (ELI) renter households, those with incomes at or below the poverty level or 30% of their area median income.

On March 13, 2018, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released its report The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes.

The report calls for increasing investments in affordable housing programs for the lowest income households like the:

  1. national Housing Trust Fund,
  2. Housing Choice Vouchers,
  3. public housing, and for expanding and
  4. improving the Low Income Housing Tax Credit so it serves more ELI households.

In New Jersey, there are just 30 available and affordable rental homes for every 100 of the lowest income renter households nationwide.

  • And 73% of New Jersey’s extremely low income renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their limited income on housing.

  • In New Jersey, 299,191 household have extremely low incomes.
  • The study finds that New Jersey fares about the same as the national average around the gap of affordable homes.
  • There are just 35 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 of the lowest income renter households nationwide.

In no state or major metropolitan area is there an adequate supply of affordable homes for the lowest income renters. And 71% of the lowest income renters are severely housing cost-burdened.

NLIHC conducts this research each year to assess the availability of housing affordable to renters at different income levels throughout the country.

  • This year’s report also includes a look at who are the lowest income renters: their demographics, disability and work status, and other characteristics.
  • The vast majority of the lowest income renters are seniors, people with disabilities, or individuals who are working, enrolled in school, or caring for a young child or for someone with a disability.
  • The wages of those who are working are often too low to afford rent without assistance.

NLIHC urges Congress to address the grave shortage of affordable and available rental housing for the lowest income households in America.

The Gap NJ Data

The Full Gap Report

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