Are Bergen County Apartments Affordable?

What does that mean, exactly?  Affordable for who?  Not if you are on welfare, or have no income.  Of Course, you could always apply with the Bergen County Housing Authority or the Fort Lee Housing Authority for Section 8 housing.  According to affordablehousingonline.com, there are 61 federally assisted properties in Bergen County.

Two of the 61 properties are in Fort Lee.  The first is Mediteranean House at 505 North Ave.  There are 305 1-bedroom units at this complex, and currenlty there are 0 avaialable.  The second is Malcom Towers at 475 Main Street.  Malcom Towers has 225 units in the complex, 75 studio apartments, and 150 One Bedroom apartments.

That’s not exactly what I had in mind, when I was thinking about affordable housing.  For the average working class family, are the rental rates in Bergen County set at a point where you can live comfortably in a middle class neighborhood? I guess I never realized that New Jersey was one of the wealthiest States in the union per capita.  According to data from the 2010 Census, Bergen County ranks fourth in the state with a per capita income of $42,000, a median household income of $81,708, and a median family income of $100,000.  However, Fort Lee is 126th on the list of within Bergen County with a per capita income of $37,899.

Now, what does all of this mean? What kind of housing can I get if my families annual income is $90,000?  Generally speaking, you are required to have a gross income 3x higher than the amount of rent you pay. So, at a gross annual income of $90,000, a family could qualify for an apartment or home where their monthly payment was $2,500 or less.  (This is just an estimate, as I am well aware that there are other factors involved.  With these estimates, we can answer the posed question with yes, Bergen County apartments are affordable.

Unfortunately, your income will determine which apartment you will qualify for.  Based on the above numbers, you would qualify for a 1 bedroom apartment at Hudson Lights on Main Street in Fort Lee, or a studio apartment at The Modern on Park Ave.  However, if you can sell yourself to the leasing agent, you could upgrade to a 1 bedroom at The Modern, because you are right on the cusp of the rental rate.

 

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