(HorizonPost.com) – The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week revealed that homelessness in the United States had risen to its highest level on record, the New York Times reported.
The annual count of homeless conducted in January found that the number of homeless increased by 12 percent, or more than 70,000 people, making 2022 the largest single-year jump in the homeless population since HUD began compiling data in 2007, according to a report released last Friday.
Officials from the Biden administration suggested that the steep increase was likely due to both the rise in housing costs and the end of pandemic-era relief measures like the ban on evictions and emergency rental assistance.
However, some researchers suggested that the increased homeless population could also be fueled by the surge in migrants who are now making use of homeless services. The cities with the sharpest increase in homelessness are also the cities experiencing a large influx of migrants from the border, including Chicago, Denver, and New York City.
University of Pennsylvania professor Dennis Culhane, who serves as an advisor for the federal government’s annual homeless count, told the New York Times that even without the influx of migrants, the homeless population would have increased, “but certainly not to this extent.”
According to the annual headcount, the number of homeless in the US as of January was 653,104.
The spike in homelessness occurred among every sub-group tracked by the federal government, rising among both individuals and families with children, both the young and the old, as well as among both the chronically homeless and first-time homeless.
Homelessness also increased among veterans, the sub-group to have experienced the sharpest declines in homelessness in recent years due to a significant expansion of federal assistance.
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