As the COVID pandemic took hold in 2020, admissions to substance abuse treatment plummeted. And they have failed to rebound. But overdoses continue to claim lives in Essex County.
Essex County isn’t the easiest place to get around, especially if you don’t have a car. Public transportation is limited, with the central part of the county not served at all. While congested roads and busy rush hours can be a troubling inconvenience for many, the lack of reliable transportation can have an even bigger impact on the lives of low-income people, who may not be able to access jobs or the education they need to enter the workforce.
The increasing costs of homeownership during and coming out of the COVID pandemic haven’t made owning a home in Essex County any easier. Since 2000, the median home value has increased 38% to $462,900. Essex remains an expensive place to live, both for homeowners and renters. For homeowners, affordability is assessed using a ratio of median home value to median income. Essex County’s ratio is 5.3, when 2-3 is considered affordable. For renters, rent is considered affordable if it takes up no more than 30% of income. In Essex County, renters are spending about 38% of their income on rent.