#NJCounts results for 2023 found that 10,267 men, women, and children in 7,408 households experienced homelessness across New Jersey. #NJCounts tallied individuals experiencing homeless on the night of January 24, 2023.
Other key findings from #NJCounts 2023 include:
- 7,536 persons were in sheltered locations (emergency shelter, hotel/motel placements, transitional housing, safe haven programs)
- 1,416 persons were unsheltered
- 1,966 persons in 1,773 households were identified as chronically homeless representing 19 percent of the total homeless population
- 1,302 households were counted as families, which included 3,993 persons (a family is defined as a household with at least one child under the age of 18 and one adult)
- 38 unaccompanied youth under 18 were identified in the count
“Agencies across New Jersey are facing many difficulties in working to utilize resources in the community,” said Kasey Vienckowski, senior associate at Monarch Housing Associates. “There has been unprecedented opportunity in the last few years for persons experiencing homelessness to receive rental assistance through rapid rehousing or permanent housing vouchers. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has had an influx of Emergency Housing Vouchers that were accessible only to those experiencing homelessness, they also were able to open their waitlist for the Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) in conjunction with the Point in Time Count.”
Counties across the state annually conduct NJCounts, as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to secure federal funding for programs serving persons experiencing homelessness. Commissioned by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), NJCounts reflects the collaborative efforts of social service providers, local government, and community advocates and volunteers to identify and enumerate persons experiencing homelessness within each county. Monarch Housing Associates coordinates NJCounts activities and completes an analysis of data collected from the Point-in-Time (PIT) survey. NJCounts aims to provide communities with valuable information as they develop strategies and plans to end homelessness.
Data for NJCounts 2023 was collected via two methods—household surveys and information from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). About 51 percent of the information for persons staying in sheltered locations was drawn from the HMIS, with the remaining information submitted through household surveys.
Data for persons staying in unsheltered locations and in programs not utilizing the HMIS was collected through household surveys administered by trained homeless service providers. Communities across the state implemented coordinated street outreach efforts and outreach to service locations to identify individuals and families that might be experiencing unsheltered homelessness the day/night of the count.
The 2023 Count represents the first time the identified population experiencing homelessness has been over 10,000 people since 2015. These numbers represent a convergence of many system changes.
- The eviction moratorium was lifted on January 1, 2022. As the court system works its way through the backlog, we are now starting to see those who could not maintain their homes hit the homeless service system.
- New Jersey, like the rest of the nation, is in the midst of a housing crisis. There are not enough homes affordable to those making 30 percent of the area median income or less. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Gap Report has identified that within NEW JERSEY for every 100 households looking for a place to call home, there are only 31 units available to them creating a shortage of 224,531 homes for extremely low-income households.
- New Jersey municipalities have seen significant rent increases that in many cases exceed national averages. According to the Rent Report for December 2022, prepared by rent.com, NEW JERSEY saw an 8.38 percent increase in rents year over year.
- The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank—Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) highlights that in 2022 NEW JERSEY had a vacancy rate of 3.7 percentfor rental units, a significant drop from an 11.2 percent vacancy rate in 2012.
New Jersey continues to see disparities in who experiences homelessness. Similar to national trends, persons identifying as Black or African American experience homelessness at disproportionately higher rates. On par with trends observed in prior years, Black people in New Jersey represent about 12 percent of the state population but about 47 percent of the identified population experiencing homelessness.
Communities across New Jersey are working to integrate voices of persons impacted by homelessness in their local planning processes. Monarch Housing Associates in partnership with the Office of Homelessness Prevention and CoCs are working to implement the Community Led Planning Development (CLPD) Project.
These communities are working to address racial disparities in their homeless service systems by increasing access and lowering barriers to entering shelters and permanent housing. Monarch Housing Associates is partnering with all communities to develop advisory boards of persons with lived experience of homelessness to provide recommendations on how to change policies and procedures to ensure all those experiencing homelessness can access critically needed services.
The full report and county by county reports are available at this link: monarchhousing.org/nj-counts
Cumberland County report: monarchhousing.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Cumberland-PIT-Report-2023.pdf