New Jersey Housing Problems, Stories Researched by Renters, Landlords, and Landlords

The lack of safe and affordable housing is at the root of many of New Jersey’s social ills.

Housing can affect the health, education, wealth, ability to hold a job and more of a family. And the pandemic has put even more New Jersey families at risk of losing their homes, a disproportionate number of people of color.

That’s why The Record, and USA TODAY Network New Jersey prioritize housing as a crucial topic to cover. As a housing journalist, I will be looking at issues of affordability, discrimination, segregation and an expected wave of foreclosures and evictions in the months to come.

Do you have a story for me? I would love to hear from you.

How is the search for accommodation in New Jersey? What problems do you have that make it difficult to pay the rent or the mortgage? Do you face discrimination when trying to buy, value or sell a home? What problems are you facing as a homeowner in these times?

Below is a short reader survey that should take less than five minutes to complete. Tell us what the media is missing or wrong.

You can reach me at [email protected] No information you provide will be published without your consent.

Having trouble viewing the survey? Click here.

The story continues under the poll

Here’s a rundown – far from an exhaustive list – of some of the major issues facing New Jersey, and why we are spending time and resources exploring those realities:

Residents can’t afford rising house prices

You need to earn $ 29.69 an hour, or about $ 60,000 a year, to afford a market-priced two-bedroom rental in New Jersey. It is the seventh highest salary needed among any state, according to an analysis by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

If you earn minimum wage, that translates to 108 hours per week for you to afford the same house.

There are not enough funds to provide public assistance to all who qualify or need it

New Jersey lacks 205,285 affordable rental units for families on or below poverty line, according to NLIHC analysis. These are families that earn 30% of the median income in their county or metropolitan area.

Nationally, only 1 in 4 eligible families have Housing or Section 8 vouchers, due to lack of funding, and New Jersey residents spend years on waiting lists or lists waiting for grants to pay part of their rent.

In addition, after the effective dismantling of a national agency responsible for overseeing the construction of affordable housing, cities must individually settle in court the number of affordable housing they are obliged to authorize. This process can be long, cumbersome and arduous.

Tenants face tough battles to find housing or tackle eviction cases

Some New Jersey residents face multiple barriers to finding accommodation to rent: Landlords reject them based on their criminal history, credit scores, or previous landlord-tenant statements, even if a tenant doesn’t. ‘was ultimately not deported.

Those at risk of deportation face more than the loss of a place to live. Being evicted from your home can affect someone’s physical and mental health and can lead to job loss and more. Most of the time, tenants don’t have lawyers – and landlords do – which makes it more likely that a tenant will be evicted. A few cities in New Jersey are trying to change this by implementing entitlement to counsel programs that provide free legal aid to people below a certain income level.

Thousands of New Jerseyans facing homelessness

At least 9,662 people were living in shelters, transitional housing or on the streets, according to an annual tally of New Jersey’s homeless population as of January 2020.

After: NJ’s homeless tally reveals grim reality amid pandemic

We don’t yet have the number for 2021, to understand the impact of the pandemic on homelessness, but surveys in which volunteers roam the streets and count the number of people in shelters in New Jersey greatly underestimate. probably the number of homeless people.

The legacy of past discrimination and current racism permeates the New Jersey real estate market

New Jersey is one of the most segregated states in the country. Black and brown students are more likely to attend a school with less funding than white schools. Communities of color are disproportionately affected by air pollution and other environmental factors, such as flooding, because of where they live.

After: Ridgewood students document historic housing inequality in town

The United States has a dark and troubling history of housing discrimination, with impacts that shape the present.

The Federal Housing Administration has refused to provide affordable mortgages in black and “high-profile” immigrant neighborhoods. Racist zoning has kept people of color away from certain areas. Restrictive covenants in property deeds would prohibit certain racial groups from buying, renting or occupying a home. Homes in black and Latino neighborhoods are still undervalued in real estate appraisals across the country.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated existing racial and wealth inequalities

Postal codes in New Jersey with higher non-white populations and overcrowded housing were more likely to have higher COVID-19 infection rates, according to an analysis from

Tenants who lost income were unable to make their payments, and this trickled down to landlords, putting them at risk of foreclosure as they lost a source of income.

After: Need rental relief? NJ State Program, County Help Still Open

People behind on rent are more likely to be black or Hispanic, according to a U.S. Census Household Pulse survey. In New Jersey, more than 66,000 black households report being behind on rent, compared to 22,000 white families. More than 108,000 Hispanic families are in arrears on rent, according to data from the last two weeks of April.

Ashley Balcerzak is a reporter at the New Jersey Statehouse. For unlimited access to his work spanning the New Jersey legislature and political power structure, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @abalcerzak

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