Homelessness Rose to Record Level This Year, Government Says

The federal government reported on Friday that homelessness has reached its highest level on record this year. According to an annual head count conducted in January, the homeless population has increased by over 70,000 people, or 12 percent. This is the largest one-year increase since data collection began in 2007 by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rise in homelessness has impacted various segments of the population, with a total of 653,104 people experiencing homelessness in the United States in January. Experts and officials from the Biden administration attribute this increase to rising rents and the expiration of pandemic-related government measures such as financial aid and eviction bans. Jeff Olivet, the head of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, emphasized that the shortage of affordable housing and high housing costs are significant factors contributing to this issue. However, some researchers argue that the surge in migrants entering the United States is also a key factor, noting a substantial growth in homelessness in cities heavily affected by this influx, including New York, Denver, and Chicago. Dennis Culhane, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who has served as an advisor to the federal government’s annual count, believes that the migrant crisis plays a crucial role in the increased homelessness rates. While homelessness has risen across all tracked groups, including individuals, families with children, and veterans, it is particularly concerning as veterans had previously experienced significant declines in homelessness due to expanded federal aid.
According to a report by the federal government, homelessness in the United States has reached its highest level on record. An annual head count conducted in January revealed that the homeless population increased by over 70,000 people, which is a 12 percent rise. This is the largest one-year jump since data collection began in 2007. The surge in homelessness affected various segments of the population.

The government’s count shows that 653,104 people were homeless in January. Researchers and officials from the Biden administration attribute this increase to rising rents and the end of pandemic-related measures, such as financial aid and eviction bans. The shortage of affordable housing and high housing costs are identified as the significant causes of homelessness.

However, some researchers argue that a significant portion of the rise in homelessness can be attributed to the increasing number of migrants entering the United States. They point out that cities like New York, Denver, and Chicago, which are most affected by the migrant crisis, have seen a sharp growth in homelessness. These researchers believe that even without the migrant crisis, there would have been an increase in homelessness, but not to this extent.

Homelessness has grown among all groups tracked by the government, including individuals, families with children, young and old individuals, chronically homeless individuals, and those entering the system for the first time. Even the veteran population, which had previously experienced significant declines in homelessness due to increased federal aid, saw an increase in homelessness.

Overall, the report highlights the urgent need for affordable housing and addresses the underlying causes of homelessness to combat this growing crisis in the United States.

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