US Homelessness Reaches Record High with 12% Spike Amid Rent Hikes and Aid Reductions

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Federal officials recently disclosed that the United States has experienced a startling 12% spike in homelessness, hitting its highest known level. 

The concurrent surge in rents coupled with a decline in pandemic aid has exacerbated the struggle for housing, pushing it out of reach for a growing number of Americans.

The stark reality emerges from the latest statistics: approximately 653,000 individuals found themselves homeless, marking the highest count since the inception of the yearly point-in-time survey in 2007. This surge, totaling about 70,650 more individuals compared to the previous year, underscores a concerning trend.

Disturbingly, the data reveals that first-time homelessness has been a significant contributor to this increase, halting the downward trend in families that commenced in 2012.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge emphasized the critical need for immediate support for proven solutions and preventative strategies. This alarming increase stands in sharp contrast to the downward demographic trend the nation has been maintaining for around ten years. 

Investments, particularly aimed at housing veterans, led to a decline from about 637,000 in 2010 to approximately 554,000 in 2017.

Homelessness Trends Before and During the Pandemic

us-homelessness-reaches-record-high-with-12%-spike-amid-rent-hikes-and-aid-reductions
Federal officials recently disclosed that the United States has experienced a startling 12% spike in homelessness, hitting its highest known level.

However, this positive momentum faltered, with numbers rising to 580,000 in 2020. Emergency rental assistance, stimulus payments, and eviction moratoriums temporarily held off a more substantial surge amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Jeff Olivet, from the US Interagency Council on 

Among the disconcerting trends within the overall rise, homelessness spiked among individuals, veterans, and families with children. 

It is shocking to note that some demographics saw disproportionate effects; a greater number of Black and Hispanic/Latino communities were harmed.

While the situation appears grim nationwide, there are pockets of success and resilience. Communities like Chattanooga, Dallas, Newark, and Houston have shown commendable decreases in homelessness, attributing their success to enhanced housing connections, preventive measures, and dedicated efforts to address the issue.

As the nation grapples with this disheartening rise, President Biden’s proposed budget aims to tackle homelessness with targeted investments. 

It remains a pressing concern demanding immediate and sustained action to ensure that homelessness doesn’t become an enduring crisis for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

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