ADDRESSING JERSEY CITY AS THE SECOND HIGHEST RENT IN THE NATION

By Carol M. Sainthilaire and Alessandra Molina

Reading this is bitter news to swallow on the heels of The Waterfront Project’s Justice for All Gala last week, where we chanted HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT. We know that Jersey City and Hudson County have become unaffordable, but it’s sobering to see the numbers. This is why preventing evictions and keeping people housed is so important and why we need to 1. Pass Right to Counsel statewide and 2. Continue funding legal services and housing counseling services.

And so, it continues – the extremity of rent increases every day. Jersey City is officially declared the second highest rent city in the nation, with New York City remaining number one. According to an article on NorthJersey.com, average rates for one to two-bedroom apartments in Jersey City start at a minimum of $1,500. Unfortunately, affordable and comfortable living options have become almost non-existent. The city’s upscale and popular status, driven by convenience and luxury, has led to a population surge, with new residents moving from New York City in search of what they consider “affordable” rent.

One to two-bedroom apartments have skyrocketed across Jersey City, ranging from $1,900 to $3,000, often in newly modernized buildings with amenities. However, this is not always the case. Current tenants face financial challenges beyond their control, resulting in physical and mental distress. Rental applications now require tenants to have three times the income to afford rent and other expenses. These inevitable changes can lead to tenants becoming homeless or struggling to believe in the possibility of living adequately and equally with fair housing justice.

At The Waterfront Project, we believe housing is a fundamental human right. Our housing counselors assist clients blindsided by rent increases and other detrimental housing issues. This support is crucial in ensuring that low to moderate-income households can live without financial hardships in a city that continues to develop and improve exceedingly.

Together, we can face these new challenges and help people continue to live peacefully and happily in their homes. Let’s advocate for affordable housing and support the Right to Counsel and funding for legal and housing counseling services.