Realty Bites

Is there affordable housing in New Jersey, and where do I find it?

By Virginia K. Smith  | June 19, 2015 - 8:59AM

We often receive emails from readers asking for help in navigating their own real estate crises. In Realty Bites, we try to get them answers.


"Do luxury buildings in New Jersey have subsidized apartments for rent, similar to the ones available on NYC Housing Connect, or is the program only in NYC? And if there are subsidized apartments in new construction buildings in NJ, where do I find them?"


While there are affordable rentals available in New Jersey, they're even scarcer than they are in New York. If your heart is set on a luxury building in Jersey City, well, you've likely got a long search ahead of you. (Sorry to be the bearers of bad news.) 

"There's a lot less required [of developers] in New Jersey than in New York," says Arnold Cohen, Senior Policy Coordinator at the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. "If the building is getting a state subsidy, they need to include 20 percent affordable apartments, but if they can make it work without state financing, they can opt out." Because of the way New Jersey's housing laws are set up, Cohen notes, affordable housing policies and availability vary from town to town, and areas where development is booming — such as Jersey City — are often less likely to zone for significant amounts of affordable housing.

Still, there are affordable rentals across the river. The New Jersey Housing Resource Center has an online database of available rentals, which is likely your best resource. Additionally, the state keeps a running list of affordable developments by county, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has its own searchable database of affordable housing on its New Jersey help page. Do enough digging, and you just might find the affordable apartment you're after.


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