June 17, 2021 | Number of The Day
Garden State residents who say cost of housing is a serious problem

Given the stratospheric expense of buying a house in New Jersey, it was almost a foregone conclusion that 87% of the participants in the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll considered the cost of housing to be a “very serious” (55%) or “somewhat serious” (32%) problem.

Those results are mirrored when it comes to finding an affordable place to rent: Eight in 10 felt it is “very” (49%) or “somewhat” (32%) difficult.

Fifty-eight percent said the coronavirus pandemic did not affect their household’s ability to make monthly rent or mortgage payments; 31% said that the pandemic made it more difficult, and just 7% said less difficult.

According to the poll, which was conducted with the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Black residents (56%) and Hispanic residents (51%) are slightly more likely than white residents (45%) to say it is “very difficult” to find an affordable place to rent in the Garden State.

“Overall, there is widespread concern about housing costs in New Jersey, but there are stark demographic differences when it comes to who is personally affected,” said Ashley Koning, an assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “Notable disparities emerge in perceptions of renting difficulties and reported affordability of monthly housing costs by race, ethnicity and whether someone owns or rents.”

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