A new report finds renters in New Jersey are having an increasingly difficult time being able to afford a decent place to live.

The Out of Reach report, prepared by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, finds rental prices rose on average about 4 percent last year for the state's 1.15 million rental households.

"I don’t think it’s surprising that New Jersey is a very expensive place for renters. We’re the 6th most expensive place in the nation,” said Arnold Cohen, the senior policy coordinator for the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.

He noted the report concludes that “a family needs to earn almost $56,810 just to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.”

Cohen said this is a very serious problem because about a third of state residents are living in rental units and “almost half of renters cannot afford what’s considered a fair market rent here in the state of New Jersey.”

He said the typical two-bedroom rental apartment in New Jersey costs about $1,460 a month, and to be able to afford that someone would need to be earning at least $26 dollars an hour, which is significantly more than many workers are making in the Garden State.

“And again, we’re not talking about some of these luxury apartments with a doorman or fancy rooftops. We’re just talking about a modest apartment," he said.

The most affordable & expensive places to rent in NJ

How much income that renters need to make to be able to afford the rents in these counties and metro areas in New Jersey, ranked from cheapest to most expensive.

Ocean City

Renter households: 9,468 — 24%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $930 — Income needed: $37,200
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,127 — Income needed: $45,080

Cape May County

Renter households: 9,468 — 24%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $930 — Income needed: $37,200
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,127 — Income needed: $45,080

Vineland-Bridgeton

Renter households: 18,086 — 36%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $873 — Income needed: $34,920
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,155 — Income needed: $46,200

Cumberland County

Renter households: 18,086 — 36%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $873 — Income needed: $34,920
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,155 — Income needed: $46,200

Warren County

Renter households: 11,593 — 28%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,020 — Income needed: $40,800
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,228 — Income needed: $49,120

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington

Renter households: 128,565 — 27%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,047 — Income needed: $41,880
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,266 — Income needed: $50,640

Burlington County

Renter households: 38,957 — 24%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,047 — Income needed: $41,880
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,266 — Income needed: $50,640

Camden County

Renter households: 60,995 — 33%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,047 — Income needed: $41,880
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,266 — Income needed: $50,640

Gloucester County

Renter households: 21,617 — 21%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,047 — Income needed: $41,880
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,266 — Income needed: $50,640

Salem County

Renter households: 6,996 — 29%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,047 — Income needed: $41,880
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,266 — Income needed: $50,640

Atlantic City-Hammonton

Renter households: 33,290 — 33%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,020 — Income needed: $40,800
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,312 — Income needed: $52,480

Atlantic County

Renter households: 33,290 — 33%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,020 — Income needed: $40,800
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,312 — Income needed: $52,480

Newark

Renter households: 286,678 — 41%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,082 — Income needed: $43,280
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,314 — Income needed: $52,560

Essex County

Renter households: 156,180 — 56%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,082 — Income needed: $43,280
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,314 — Income needed: $52,560

Morris County

Renter households: 44,365 — 25%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,082 — Income needed: $43,280
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,314 — Income needed: $52,560

Sussex County

Renter households: 9,174 — 17%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,082 — Income needed: $43,280
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,314 — Income needed: $52,560

Union County

Renter households: 76,959 — 41%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,082 — Income needed: $43,280
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,314 — Income needed: $52,560

Trenton

Renter households: 46,728 — 36%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,072 — Income needed: $42,880
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,329 — Income needed: $53,160

Mercer County

Renter households: 46,728 — 36%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,072 — Income needed: $42,880
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,329 — Income needed: $53,160

Monmouth County

Renter households: 61,195 — 26%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,126 — Income needed: $45,040
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,461 — Income needed: $58,440

Ocean County

Renter households: 44,233 — 20%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,126 — Income needed: $45,040
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,461 — Income needed: $58,440

Jersey City

Renter households: 174,234 — 69%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,351 — Income needed: $54,040
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,614 — Income needed: $64,560

Hudson County

Renter households: 174,234 — 69%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,351 — Income needed: $54,040
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,614 — Income needed: $64,560

Hunterdon County

Renter households: 7,813 — 17%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,268 — Income needed: $50,720
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,627 — Income needed: $65,080

Middlesex County

Renter households: 102,485 — 36%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,268 — Income needed: $50,720
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,627 — Income needed: $65,080

Somerset County

Renter households: 28,199 — 24%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,268 — Income needed: $50,720
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,627 — Income needed: $65,080

Bergen County

Renter households: 119,028 — 35%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,439 — Income needed: $57,560
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,691 — Income needed: $67,640

Passaic County

Renter households: 75,625 — 47%
1-bedroom avg. rent: $1,439 — Income needed: $57,560
2-bedroom avg. rent: $1,691 — Income needed: $67,640

According to the report, rents rose in some parts of the Garden State, especially urban areas, significantly more than 4 percent.

Cohen said the guideline has always been you should be spending a third of your income on housing but “increasingly what you have is people spending 40, 50 percent of their income on their housing costs.”

“The new norm has become people spending more of their income on housing costs, and then a lot of times people will double up in order to have a place that they can afford," he said.

“People are skimping on other things in order to be able to have a decent apartment because you need a place to live.”

He said to begin to rectify the situation, New Jersey must focus on building more affordable housing and not divert funds that are supposed to be dedicated for that purpose.

“Unfortunately, we’ve been doing this for a long time and we’re facing a similar situation with the current proposed state spending plan,” he said. “If you look at our neighboring states, they’re allocating funds for lower cost housing and that makes a difference.”

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You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com