Homelessness Continues to Decline in U.S.
Fewer people are homeless in the U.S., especially among families with children, veterans, and individuals who have long-term disabilities, according to HUD’s 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.
The report says that 549,928 people were homeless on a single night recorded in 2016, a 14 percent drop since 2010. HUD credits some of the drop to the Obama Administration’s launch in 2010 of Opening Doors, a road map for 19 federal member agencies to help prevent and eliminate homelessness in the country. Over the past 7 years, HUD says the country has seen a 23 percent drop in families who are homeless, a 47 percent decrease in veteran homelessness, and a 27 percent decline in individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.
The number of people who are homeless dropped in 37 states between 2015 and 2016. The largest decreases were in Florida (2,341 fewer people were homeless), New York (1,898 fewer people), Illinois (1,587), Massachusetts (1,527), and Nevada (1,345). Meanwhile, the largest percentage decreases were in North Dakota (29%), Vermont (27%), West Virginia (24%), Montana (17%), and Nevada (15%).
The following chart shows estimates of the number of homeless people by state.
While homelessness is improving in the nation, HUD Secretary Julian Castro noted that the number of “doubled up” or rent-burdened families remains a top concern.
“While our continued progress reinforces that we are on the right path, the data also makes clear that we must increase the pace of that progress,” adds Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. “To do so, we must be unwavering in our commitment to strategies and investments that are working. Our communities and our citizens deserve nothing less.”
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development