The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released its 2023 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. This comprehensive review of the homelessness crisis provides valuable insight into the heightened homelessness crisis affecting the housing landscape across the United States.

Raising Rates of Homelessness

The most alarming revelation from the 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) count is the undeniable increase in homelessness, with a 12% rise compared to 2022. This percentage translates to approximately 70,650 more people grappling with the harsh reality of life without a safe, affordable, and permanent place to call home. The surge has pushed the total number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2023 to 653,100 people. This increase in homelessness is happening because of high inflation rates over the past two years, the end of the eviction moratorium and COVID-era relief funding, and the continued increase of rental prices. These figures reflected here mark the highest count since PIT reporting began in 2007, pointing to a crisis that demands urgent attention and comprehensive solutions.

A Focus on Family Homelessness

At Housing Up, we provide over 900 families across the District  access to safe, affordable housing. Nationally, the number of families experiencing homelessness rose within the last year. Between 2022 and 2023, family homelessness increased by 16%, totaling more than 25,000 people across America. Although family homelessness has been on the decline since 2012, this year marks a concerning upward shift. The rise in family homelessness speaks to the vulnerability of a demographic that includes children, often facing challenges that extend beyond shelter, affecting their education, health, and overall well-being.

Disproportionate Impact on Black and Hispanic Families

Among our housing programs that include permanent supportive housing, rapid re-housing, and affordable rental housing, 93% of the families we serve identify as Black, and most of the remaining families identify as Hispanic. The 2023 statistics reveal a trend of disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic demographics. Black Americans, who make up 13% of the U.S. population, account for an outsized 37% of all people experiencing homelessness. In terms of Hispanic Americans, they account for 55% of the total increase in the homelessness population and experienced a 28% rise in homelessness rates between 2022 and 2023. These numbers shed light on systemic issues and structural inequalities that perpetuate the cycle of homelessness within specific communities.

Veterans Struggling on the Streets

While Housing Up’s Veterans Connections program aims to help and house those who served our country, the 2023 report reflects a nationwide lack of support for veterans experiencing homelessness. In 2023, 35,574 veterans were experiencing homelessness, reflecting a 7% increase from 2022. This uptick, equivalent to 2,445 more veterans finding themselves without a home, emphasizes the need for targeted support and resources for those who have served our country. Providing housing assistance for veterans ensures that people who risked their lives in service to our country are given the proper support they deserve. 

Final Thoughts

The 2023 report calls for collective action, emphasizing the need for lasting solutions to ensure stable and secure housing for every American. Addressing homelessness requires a multifaceted approach, involving both housing solutions and comprehensive support to help individuals and families to break free from the cycle of homelessness.

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