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Newark placed last in recent survey of US cities on what renters get for their money


A recent survey tells a grim story of the market for rental housing in Newark. The city came up last among the 96 biggest cities in the US as offering renters the least for their money. Andrew Aurand of the National Low Income Housing Coalition said incomes and rents in Newark simply do not match up.

“A full time worker needs to earn more than $25 an hour just to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment, or more than $30 an hour to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment, and these are not new luxury apartments, these are just modest apartments,” he said.

In response to the study, by Forbes Advisor, Mayor Ras Baraka pointed to the median family income in Newark —- about $32,000 —- as a prime reason for the crisis in rental housing in the city.

Aurand said when housing falls into the hands of private equity the situation becomes even worse.

“They’re purchasing those properties for a significant rate of return and in order to get that rate of return they increase rents and that has been a significant challenge,” he said.

Baraka said Newark has been “a prime target for predatory developers … and the state has refused to make affordable housing a real priority.”

In Newark, 80% of people live in rental housing, resulting in a supply shortage and boosting rents even more. Aurand said things are starting to change, but not in Newark.

“We’re no longer seeing significant increases in rents in many markets and that’s because the supply is finally starting to catch up as more and more new units have been coming on line, but that doesn’t necessarily help the lowest income renters because those units aren’t affordable to them,” Aurand said.

Baraka said the study doesn’t take into account decades of public policy that has “created inequity and segregation.”

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.