| Things to think about
average income is rising, income inequality, or the gap between
the rich and poor, appears to be widening in the state. We also
donít know if housing inequality is widening.
Homebuilding technology exists to significantly reduce environmental
impacts of, for example, energy use. Despite the fact that this
technology has proven to save homeowners substantial amounts of money in the
long term (the duration of a mortgage, for instance), it has
not been widely incorporated into the housing market.
ownership helps build financial equity for New Jerseyans and
establishes us as long-term stakeholders in our communities.
It also builds pride in the places where we live and gives children
and families a stable place to grow. Since 1990, income has
risen significantly faster than home prices. This suggests that
more of us are able to buy a home.
One of the biggest economic
goals of many New Jerseyans is to own a home. For most people,
their home will be their largest investment. We store our savings
in our homes as "equity." We also store our most valuable assets
at home Ė our safety, our families, our peace of mind. The availability
of desirable housing for employees is a major consideration
for businesses deciding where to locate.
How and where we build our
homes may be the single most important factor in how much we
impact our environment. Depending on where and how they are
built, homes use different amounts of land and energy and generate
different amounts of traffic and pollution. The most valuable
homes are often those with tree-lined streets, near pristine
environments and parks. Conversely, those near waste dumps,
polluted rivers, or environmentally damaged sites are worth
give people a reason to care. Homeowners tend to take a long-term
interest in community issues such as promoting education and
fighting crime. Desirable homes help shape close communities
where children play safely, where parents can visit each other
in nearby parks, and where housing values rise along with the
well-being of the community.
Although homes are
more affordable, the data do not tell us the locations of the
homes involved. Therefore, we donít know if the overall quality
of homes is improving as affordability improves. For example,
we cannot tell how safe the homes are, the quality of the school
districts that serve them, the levels of racial segregation
in the regions where they are located, their environmental impact,
or how close the homes are to neighbors, key services, public
transportation, and jobs. The data also do not reflect regional
variations in home prices and income.
See the Technical Appendix for information on the use of different
data sources and a change in the description of this indicator
since the 1999 Sustainable State Project Report.
Sources: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis,
US Bureau of the Census, NJ Department of Labor, and Regional