However, overall homelessness remained unchanged
Homelessness in the US remained largely unchanged in 2018, despite notable declines among veterans and families with children, according to the latest national estimate by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The agency’s 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 552,830 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018, an increase of 0.3% since last year. Meanwhile, homelessness among veterans fell 5.4% and homelessness experienced by families with children declined 2.7% nationwide since 2017.
HUD also found significant local variation in the data reported from different parts of the country, as in previous years. Homelessness decreased in 31 states and the District of Columbia between 2017 and 2018. Over the same period, 19 states reported increases in the number of persons experiencing homelessness.
“Our state and local partners are increasingly focused on finding lasting solutions to homelessness even as they struggle against the headwinds of rising rents,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “Much progress is being made and much work remains to be done, but I have great hope that communities all across our nation are intent on preventing and ending homelessness.”
“Communities across the country are getting better and better at making sure that people exit homelessness quickly through Housing First approaches,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness. “We know, however, that a lack of housing that people can afford is the fundamental obstacle to making further progress in many communities.”