A crisis of unprecedented magnitude is headed toward New Jersey. The abrupt closing of the economy due to COVID-19 destabilized a massive number of New Jersey families. The state’s unemployment rate rapidly rose from 3.7% to 17% and remains at 11%.
Job losses disproportionately affected renters, who already faced lower incomes, less savings, and fewer assets than homeowners. The convergence of limited affordable housing, the astonishing number of families paying over 50% of their income to rent, and the fallout of COVID-19, is leading a record number of families to the brink of eviction and homelessness. A recent economic impact study predicts that New Jersey could see upwards of 300,000 eviction filings in the coming months.
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