The number of homeless people in the US is the same as before the pandemic
San Francisco –
The administration of President Joe Biden announced Monday that it is ramping up efforts to help people sleeping in their homes on sidewalks, in tents and cars as a new federal report confirms the obvious. for people in many cities: Homelessness persists despite increased local efforts.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said that in federally mandated censuses conducted across the country earlier this year, about 582,000 people were considered homeless — a number that misses one number of people and does not include those who stay with friends or family because they do so. have no place for themselves.
The number is almost the same as in a survey conducted in early 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic hit the country hard. It has grown by about 2,000 people – an increase of less than 1 percent.
The government aims to reduce it by 25% by 2025.
“My plan provides a roadmap that not only gets people into housing, but also ensures that they have access to the supports, services and income that allow them to thrive,” Biden said in a statement. .
The All in 2022 strategic roadmap was released Monday following a 2010 effort called Open Doors, the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness.
Ann Oliva, CEO of the National Coalition to End Homelessness and a former HUD executive who worked on the first roadmap, says the federal government could have an impact on local action with financial incentives, streamlining processes, and strong policies.
For example, homelessness among veterans has plummeted thanks to federal leadership, and the country has also gained youth interest, she said.
“What they’re trying to do here is show that, as a federal government, we’re going to work across agencies, we’re going to break down barriers, we’re going to lead by To be fair, we’re going to talk about preventing upstream and solving those problems,” Oliva said.
The federal plan highlights racial and other disparities that have led to inequality in homelessness. It seeks to expand the supply of affordable housing and improve ways to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.
Potential steps include a campaign to encourage more homeowners to accept government housing vouchers and to encourage local governments to build more apartment complexes that are affordable for working families.
The administration also announced a program for federal agencies to work with local officials to reduce unsheltered homelessness in some unnamed cities.
Homelessness has become a major political issue, especially in the nation’s largest cities and on the West Coast.
New survey shows New York City, where most homeless people live in shelters, continues to have the largest homeless population, even though the number has dropped below 62,000 this year compared with nearly 78,000 in 2020.
There are nearly 42,000 homeless people in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass took office this month and quickly declared a state of emergency. New York Mayor Eric Adams last month announced a plan to treat people with mental illness and remove them from the streets and subways, even if they don’t want to.
This year’s Point in Time survey reflects the balance of opposing forces. The pandemic has caused massive job losses, especially for those with low incomes and higher rents. It also pushed for a moratorium on evictions and temporary federal aid, including tax credits for families that helped keep people in.
The numbers show that homelessness has decreased among veterans, families, children and young adults. Most are staying in shelters, although the number of people sleeping in non-residential places has increased. Many have been homeless for more than a year. Blacks continue to be disproportionately likely to become homeless.
New counts have been heavily anticipated as the 2021 survey has not been completed due to the pandemic. However, this year’s survey is not quite back to normal. While individual tally usually takes place at the end of January, many counts have been pushed back to February or March because of the pandemic. Local reports aggregated into national data show numbers rising in some places and falling in others.