As NJ Rents Continue to Climb, Finding an Apartment Becomes Even Tougher

Rental costs rose more than 3 percent in New Jersey over the past year, making the state the sixth most-unaffordable when it comes to renting a typical two-bedroom apartment and prompting advocates to renew calls for the state to take steps to build more affordable housing and increase the minimum wage.

The average two-bedroom rental in the state costs $1,465 a month. In order to reasonably afford that, a person must earn at least $28.17 per hour, according to the annual Out of Reach report released on Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. That represents a $45 per month jump in rent and a nearly $1 per hour salary increase to cover the cost in the past year.

More than 450,000 New Jerseyans work in jobs in which the median salary is significantly less than the $58,603 annual wage needed to afford the average two-bedroom rental without spending more than 30 percent of income on housing, according to data from the network. These include a wide range of occupations — among them, cashiers, nursing assistants, security guards, preschool teachers, and accounting clerks.

Click here for the full article »