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New Jersey Ranks Near Top of List of Least Affordable States for Renters, Study Shows

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The Garden State, with no statewide rent control, fell one notch, from 6th to 7th least affordable

On the list of least affordable states to rent an apartment, New Jersey ranks high.

The 2022 Out of Reach report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that New Jersey actually did move down a notch, from 6th to 7th least affordable, but remains near the top of the list.

Tanika Moss is a renter in Paterson.

“This is something that seems impossible, just trying to find an apartment that you can afford in a safe area to raise your children, seems like almost equivalent to walking on the moon at this point,” she said at a virtual event to unveil the latest report.

In Essex County the average rent on a two-bedroom apartment is almost $1500 a month. Someone would have to make almost $60,000 a year to comfortably afford it.

Staci Berger, CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, said there simply must be statewide rent control.

“I think we as a state need to have a conversation about reasonable rent control. Right now we have unreasonable rent price gouging in an environment where people have endured two years of a pandemic,” she said.

“It is unconscionable that there are no limits at this point on what folks can be charged for rent,” she continued. “We’re not saying that landlords can’t make a reasonable return on their investment, but we’re seeing between 18% and 25% rent increases without any justification.”

In Essex County more than half the residents are renters.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.