For affordable apartments, the waiting list can be years long

Anthony Marchetta, executive director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency said there is a “significant, unsatisfied demand for affordable housing” in the state. The agency allocates the low-income housing tax credits the state receives from the federal government.

He said the cost of living has risen so high in New Jersey that many people earning moderate wages have been seeking out income-based rentals in much higher numbers than before.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, nearly half of the country’s unsubsidized rentals available for $400 a month or less in 2011 were built more than 50 years ago.

On Wednesday, drawing criticism from housing advocates, the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing proposed new regulations that call for fewer than 31,000 units of affordable housing to be built by 2024. Units built using low-income housing tax credits would be part of that number.

Philadelphia Inquirer

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