I previously established the fact that in Camden County, over 58% of all affordable housing units exist in Camden City. Because of this, we can assume that this fact alone may be the strongest indicator as to why Camden City is such a highly concentrated area of poverty that is also very dependent on State aid. However, my first post, and my “About” page, describe this entire blog to be an effort to highlight the true image of poverty in the State of New Jersey, and not solely to focus on Camden City. This blog also serves to indicate how Camden is the most extreme in per capita terms, however, it most certainly is not alone in the State, and depending upon how one looks at city boundaries, Camden’s situation is less extreme than others. Therefore, this post will explore the affordable housing situations of the other two outliers of poverty; Trenton and Vineland.
To refresh the memory, Trenton also fits my criteria for being considered a “municipality of concern” because it receives more than $10,000,000 in municipal aid from the State, as well as more than $100,000,000 in educational aid. Trenton shares this trait with Camden and Vineland, while all three of them also hold a high percentage of their respective counties’ affordable housing within their city limits. As shown in the graph below, Trenton holds 62.4% of all affordable housing units in Mercer County.
The next graph shows the most important statistic when accessing the distribution of affordable housing, which is the availability of developments that families can move into while meeting an income requirement. When looking at The Guide to Affordable Housing in New Jersey, these developments are denoted as “FAM”.
After reviewing the distribution of all affordable housing units in Camden County and Mercer County, along with the distribution of FAM developments, we see striking similarities between Camden City and Trenton, then then correlate to similarities in their dependency on State aid.
Vineland shares this pattern, but not to the exact extremity as Camden and Trenton have displayed. The graph below shows Vineland holding a still overwhelming proportion (39.7%) of affordable housing when compared to the rest of Cumberland County.
Vineland is significantly different from Camden and Trenton in the sense that Vineland only holds 20% of FAM developments in the County. Aside from this one indifference, the above information supports the trend that in New Jersey, highly concentrated areas of poverty exist while also holding high concentrations of affordable housing.
My next post will demonstrate the same pattern but of the northern municipalities such as Patterson, Passaic, Elizabeth, Newark, etc. I will most likely need to treat the next run of data differently because of the fact that so many municipalities fitting my criteria exist within the same county. I’ll probably end up combining Essex, Union, and Hudson counties into one set of data, almost to create one “super-county” in order to show the concentration of affordable housing.