Affordable Rentals Remain Scarce After Sandy
NJ fourth most expensive state to rent according to Out of Reach


According to the annual, national report released today, New Jersey is the fourth most expensive state in the nation to rent a two bedroom apartment; only Hawaii, California, and Maryland are less affordable. A New Jersey family must earn an hourly wage of $24.92 in order afford to rent on a two-bedroom home in the Garden State, as residents and communities continue to suffer from the delays in the Sandy recovery and the foreclosure crisis.

"New Jersey remains at number four on the list of most expensive states in the nation. In order for our economy to rebound and our residents to recover, we need more places people can afford to rent ," said Staci Berger, president and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network). "New Jersey must do better in the next round of Sandy funding to help renters affected by the storm and increase the supply of rental homes by fully funding state rental assistance and related programs.  Inexplicably, the Governor has proposed cutting SRAP by $2.5 million in the FY2015 budget. We need to invest more, not less, to solve the rental housing crisis.”

To gauge affordability, the NLIHC and the Network both use the widely accepted measure that no more than 30% of a person's income should be spent on housing.  As the Fair Market Rent (FMR) in the state for a two bedroom rental is $1,296, a family must earn $51,838 annually in order to afford a two bedroom rental.  Using that formula, a minimum wage worker would have to work 121 hours per week year-round to be able to afford a two-bedroom home at FMR. 

In Sandy impacted communities, where 43 percent of those affected were renters, a limited supply of affordable rentals has further dwindled due to increased demand. According to a 2013 study from Enterprise Community Partners, among renters affected by Sandy, 67 percent make less than $30,000 a year. The Network and other housing advocates requested that $60 million of the next tranche of Sandy recovery funds be dedicated to housing vouchers.

"Monmouth County has always had a difficult time providing enough affordable rental homes to the people who need them," said Donna Blaze, chief executive officer of the Monmouth County based Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA). "Superstorm Sandy exacerbated that problem. Not only did we lose hundreds of rental homes as a direct result of storm damage, other families who are waiting for the homes they own to be repaired have moved into the rental market. As a result, the situation is far more difficult if not impossible for families and individuals in Monmouth County of any means."

"Every resident in this state should have access to a safe, decent home they can afford," said Berger. "New Jersey's economy will not thrive if people cannot afford to live here. The foreclosure crisis and Sandy have moved former homeowners into the rental market, straining demand far beyond the supply of homes.  New Jersey cannot afford inaction;  we need solutions that are going to develop the homes New Jerseyans want and need."

Results of the 2014 Out of Reach report were released at an event today at the Grandview Apartments in Keansburg. Renovated by the Affordable Housing Alliance, the Grandview Apartments consists of 131 affordable rental homes. AHA has successfully financed and developed over 380 units throughout Monmouth County with total development costs over $28 million.

The report, Out of Reach 2014, was jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a Washington, D.C.-based housing policy organization, and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. The report provides the Housing Wage and other housing affordability data for every state, metropolitan area, combined non metropolitan area, and county in the country.

The New Jersey data from Out of Reach 2014 is also available at For the complete report, please visit WWW.NLIHC.ORG/OOR/2014.

The Housing and Community Development Network supports New Jersey’s community development sector, collaborating with more than 250 members including community development corporations and other organizations to create affordable homes, expand economic opportunities, and build strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit

For more information: Nina Arce
Housing & Community Development Network of NJ
(609) 393-3752 x12
[email protected]
Twitter: @hcdnnj