Study Ranks NJ Rents 7th Most Expensive in the Nation
Housing advocates call for housing investments and stronger renter protections


TRENTON – In a new national report unveiled today, New Jersey ranked as the seventh most expensive place for renters. The report, Out of Reach, was jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a research and advocacy organization dedicated solely to achieving affordable and decent homes for people earning the lowest incomes, and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network), the statewide housing and community development association.

In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental home at fair market rent in NJ, full-time workers need to earn the Housing Wage of $31.32 per hour, or $65,137 annually. The Housing Wage is the hourly wage a worker must earn to afford a modest and safe rental without spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs. Across the country, a renter needs to earn $25.82 per hour in order to afford a modest two-bedroom rental home without spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

"Housing costs continue to soar ‘out of reach,’ leaving more families facing housing insecurity and on the brink of homelessness,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network. “This year though, the Murphy Administration and the NJ Legislature made a historic investment in housing that will help create more affordable opportunities for New Jerseyans. We’re urging our elected leaders to continue on that trajectory while also putting some protections into place that will protect renters.”

This year, the Out of Reach report is being released amid record-high inflation and rising rental costs. These rent increases are affecting tenants nationwide, with median rents for two-bedroom apartments increasing nearly 18 percent between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. At the same time, costs for necessities like food and transportation have also skyrocketed, leaving low-income renters with increasingly tighter budgets. With inflation breaking a 40-year record in 2022, many renters have had to make difficult decisions about their budget, sacrificing childcare, medical care, and food to maintain housing.

“Searching for an affordable home is one of the most discouraging things that you could ever really have to go through,” said Tanika Moss, a renter residing in the City of Paterson. “It’s something that seems impossible, just trying to find an apartment that you can afford in a safe area to raise your children. It seems almost equivalent to walking on the moon at this point.”

“Decades of chronic underfunding for housing assistance have resulted in a housing-lottery system, where only 25 percent of eligible households receive the housing assistance they need,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “With rents rising rapidly, homelessness worsening, and millions of families struggling to stay housed, federal investments in expanding proven solutions – like Housing Choice Vouchers, the national Housing Trust Fund, and public housing – are badly needed and long overdue. As a country, we have the data, partnerships, expertise, solutions, and means to end homelessness and housing poverty – we lack only the political will to fund solutions at the scale necessary.”

To address growing housing insecurity and instability in NJ’s housing market, the Network launched the HouseNJ campaign which seeks transformative state and federal housing investments. The campaign also aims to remove barriers to housing access and security, making it easier for NJ residents to find and keep stable, affordable homes by adopting innovative changes. Examples include: streamlining affordable housing and assistance applications, establishing limitations on rent increases, targeting housing discrimination, and eliminating the credit score standard for recipients of state and federal housing subsidies to name a few.

The New Jersey data from Out of Reach 2022, including county data, is available at For the complete report, please visit 

About the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the statewide association of more than 270 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit

For more information: Nina Rainiero
(609) 393-3752 x1200
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