Out of Reach 2019 Data Shows Need to Protect and Expand Housing Choice Voucher Program
On June 18, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released its thirtieth annual Out of Reach report. Once again, New Jersey is one of most expensive states for housing in the country. More information can be found in the Out of Reach report. To see the data specific to New Jersey, view the state page.
In order to afford a two-bedroom apartment in New Jersey, full-time workers must earn $28.86 per hour. However, the minimum wage has stayed relatively stagnant at $8.85 per hour. Therefore, someone working a minimum wage job in New Jersey must work 3.3 full-time jobs (130 hours per week) to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
This problem is not insignificant. Thirty-six percent of New Jersey households, or 1,147,038 households, are renters. The average renter in New Jersey only makes $18.68 per hour, far less than the $28.86 required for a two-bedroom apartment.
This crisis affects a large population within the state, not only minimum wage workers. Office clerks, receptionists, security guards, home health aides, bookkeepers, and nursing assistants are some of the many professions that cannot currently afford housing in New Jersey.
More must be done to combat the significant shortage of safe, accessible and affordable housing in New Jersey. Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers provide individuals and families with the flexibility to choose where they live.
Expanding and protecting the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is one of the Federal Policy Priorities. This week we are highlighting the Voucher Program as part of the five-week campaign to highlight and inform readers on each of the Priorities.
The Voucher Program has been incredibly effective in reducing child poverty, increasing mobility, and strengthening communities. NLIHC notes that the expansion of Vouchers is vital in the fight to end child poverty.
Safe, accessible and affordable homes are the foundation for healthy lives and communities. Until all families can afford to live in fair and safe homes, communities across New Jersey and the United States will not prosper.
Join Monarch Housing Associates and our 33 Partners on Wednesday, July 24, for the Congressional Reception in Washington, DC. We will make sure our elected officials understand the necessity of funding affordable housing programs. Register for the Congressional Reception today!
For more information, please read the Federal Policy Priorities.