U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro today announced HUD’s latest national one-night estimate of homelessness, highlighting a continuing decline across the nation. The results are based on HUD’s Point-in-Time (PIT) estimates, which seek to measure the scope of homelessness on a single night in January each year.
HUD’s 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress found that there has been an overall 11% decrease and 26% drop in the unsheltered homeless population since 2010, when President Obama launched Opening Doors, the nation’s first-ever comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. Between 2010 and January 2015, veteran homelessness declined 36%, family homelessness declined 19%, and chronic homelessness among individuals declined 22%. The report shows that certain communities are making significant positive progress, while others are struggling in light of the widespread housing affordability crisis, budget shortages, or slow adoption of best practices.
On a single night in January 2015, state and local planning agencies reported the following estimates of homelessness:
- Overall, homelessness has declined by more than 72,000 people since 2010, an 11% reduction since the release of Opening Doors. In January 2015, an estimated 564,708 people were homeless on a given night. Most (69%) were staying in residential programs for homeless people, and 31% were found in unsheltered locations
- Veteran homelessness fell by 36% between 2010 and January 2015, including a 47% decline in unsheltered veterans. On a single night in January 2015, fewer than 48,000 veterans were homeless, and only 34% of those were on the street. HUD expects this trend to continue.
- Chronic homelessness among individuals continued to decline. Since 2010, chronic homelessness has declined 22%. More than 83,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in January 2015 were reported as chronically homeless.
- There was a 5% reduction in families experiencing homelessness between 2014 and January 2015. Between 2010 and January 2015, family homelessness declined by 19%.
- In January 2015, the estimated number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children was 36,097.