MOORESTOWN, N.J. (CBS) – In picturesque Moorestown, one of the wealthier suburbs in south Jersey, Raymond and Janice O’Hara never thought they would find a one bedroom apartment to fit their monthly budget of $315 dollars.
“You talk about rent which about $850 and your income and they’re like see you later,” says Raymond O’Hara.
“It was very hard,” says Janice O’Hara.
The O’Hara’s are disabled and take in $18,000 a year in Social Security. They are lucky to live in a nonprofit Moorestown Ecumenical Neighborhood Development or MEND home.
“We can’t produce enough homes to meet the need,” says MEND President and CEO Matthew Reilly.
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Reilly echoes the Out of Reach 2011 report by a Washington, D.C. based housing policy organization that says 61 percent of New Jersey renters don’t earn enough to afford the states fair market two bedroom monthly rental of about $1,276.
They earn less than $52,000 a year and wouldn’t make it if they go by the formula that no more than 30 percent of income should cover housing.
“Everyday our waiting list grows longer”, says Reilly.
On Thursday, affordable housing advocates will lobby in Trenton to maintain and expand affordable housing and promote legislation lawmakers and the governor can agree on.
Reported by Robin Rieger, CBS 3