NJ renters aren’t happy with the state, survey finds

Aired September 8, 2014
By Dino Flammia

Affordability, neighborhood safety and access to jobs are the most important features to those who rent. According to a new survey, New Jersey doesn’t perform well in any of those categories.

The second annual renter satisfaction survey, released Thursday by Apartment List, gives the Garden State below-average grades nearly across the board. The California-based group surveyed tens of thousands of renters throughout the country, including 392 in New Jersey.

“It looks like, overall, New Jersey renters are pretty unhappy with their cities,” said Andrew Woo, director of data science at Apartment List.

New Jersey grades, based on renter responses:

  • Overall satisfaction: C+
  • Safety and crime rate: C-
  • Jobs and career opportunities: D
  • Quality of schools: F
  • Commute time: D
  • State and local taxes: D

New Jersey also received a ‘D’ in the category of affordability. According to the Out of Reach 2016 report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a minimum wage worker in New Jersey would have to work 127 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

It’s estimated by the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey that more than a third of New Jersey residents are renters. They make up two-thirds of the households in Hudson County.

The state’s best score — the only one to top the national average — came in the category of public transit: access to buses and trains for work and other travel.

With an ‘F’ grade in several categories, including safety and career opportunities, Newark received one of the lowest local results nationwide.