Rental Housing Crisis Continues to Harm Tenants, New Report Finds
Affordable home availability growing scarcer for NJ residents


The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, a new report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network), finds a national shortage of 7.3 million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renter households – those with incomes at or below the poverty level or 30 percent of their area median income, whichever is greater. In NJ, there is a shortage of 224,531 affordable rental homes available to the state’s 323,254 extremely low-income households.

Every year, The Gap reports on the severe shortage of affordable rental homes available to extremely low-income families and individuals. The new Gap report finds that the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by significant rent increases, drastically impacted the supply of affordable and available rental homes, nationally, in recent years. As households lost income and rental prices increased, the number of extremely low-income households rose, while the number of units affordable to them shrank.

Between 2019 and 2021, the shortage of affordable homes for extremely low-income renters worsened by over 500,000 units. While rental inflation has cooled going into 2023, extremely low-income renters will continue to face significant barriers to finding and maintaining affordable housing, as their incomes are insufficient to cover even modest rental prices.

More than 73 percent of NJ’s poorest renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their incomes on housing, with little left over for other basic necessities. The Garden State has 31 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 households with extremely low incomes (a family of four earning under $35,000/year for example).

“There has been a significant effort in our state to prevent housing insecurity as a result of the pandemic and there’s been more investment than ever before to create the affordable homes our state needs,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network. “Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas pedal. This report underscores the massive need for affordable homes, and we urge state and federal leaders to make the significant investments needed to HouseNJ.

Last year, the Network launched a campaign to advance anti-racist policies to achieve the large-scale, sustained investments and reforms necessary so that households with the lowest incomes have an affordable place to call home. HouseNJ calls for state level action including expansion of the NJ Affordable Housing Trust Fund, increasing the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit, strengthening rental assistance and other policy interventions that remove barriers to housing access and security, like removing preliminary and unnecessary credit background checks. The campaign also calls on Congress to ensure rental assistance to all qualified tenants, increase the National Housing Trust Fund and repair and preserve public housing.

“As this year’s Gap report makes clear, extremely low-income renters are facing a staggering shortage of affordable and available homes,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “In the wake of the pandemic, federal housing investments are more critical than ever for sustaining our communities and helping low-income people thrive. Yet House Republicans are now threatening to cut funding for the very programs that provide a lifeline to low-income renters. Balancing the national budget must not be done on the backs of our nation’s lowest-income and most marginalized people and families.”

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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 250 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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