What causes homelessness? Unemployment, unaddressed health issues, eviction and the high cost of living in New Jersey are frequently cited as why people become homeless. Lack of affordable housing is another cause of homelessness.
The need for affordable housing in New Jersey is significant and has been referred to as an affordable housing crisis. The affordable housing crisis in New Jersey dates back to over 40 years ago. The Township of Mount Laurel developed a zoning ordinance that essentially banned affordable housing units such as apartments, trailer parks and multi-family units. The Township was sued and the case was taken up by the New Jersey Supreme Court who declared that the Mount Laurel zoning ordinance prevented affordable housing opportunities. In addition to that, the New Jersey Supreme Court declared that land use regulations preventing affordable housing were unconstitutional. That decision continues to impact New Jersey’s housing situation.
Finding a safe and affordable place to live in New Jersey can be challenging by itself. It can be overwhelming to search online databases or ask friends and families for information about housing opportunities.
The New Jersey Housing Resource Center (NJHRC) is a free and searchable registry of affordable housing units in New Jersey. The NJHRC is overseen by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. People and families in search of affordable housing can visit the website to look for rental units or browse for homes on sale. Information such as availability of the unit, basic features, appliances and utilities are included in the listings so that people can make informed decisions.
Resources like the NJHRC make it easier for people and families to find safe and affordable housing. Through our supportive housing program, we are working to end homelessness in New Jersey. Together with local governments, social and human service providers, community landlords and property management firms, we help people find a place to call home.
For more information about our housing services, click here or call our Access Center at 1-800-963-3377.