Record High: Homelessness in the United States Reaches Unprecedented Levels

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US Homelessness Reaches Unprecedented Highs: Biden Administration Urges Urgent Solutions

According to statements made by the Biden administration, a recent report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reveals that homelessness in the United States has reached an all-time high as a result of rising housing costs and reduced assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The HUD report, made public on Friday, indicates a staggering 12 percent increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness since last year, translating to over 70,000 additional cases.

This surge, observed during a January head count, represents the highest level of homelessness recorded since HUD began its comprehensive studies in 2007. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge expressed the urgency of finding solutions to address this critical issue.

In a statement on the X platform (formerly Twitter), Fudge emphasized, “Homelessness should not exist in the United States.” She underscored the need for immediate support for proven solutions and strategies that aid in the swift exit from homelessness and work towards preventing homelessness in the first place.

The rise in homelessness is widespread, affecting individuals across all demographics. Families with children, in particular, experienced a striking increase of nearly 16 percent. For individuals, the increase was 11 percent.

Broken down by race, Asian Americans saw the largest surge in homelessness at 40 percent, while Black Americans constituted around 37 percent, and Hispanic or Latino individuals accounted for 33 percent of the total homeless population.

A noteworthy observation from the report is that over a quarter of the homeless population is aged 54 and above. Jeff Olivet, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, attributed various factors to the issue, highlighting the shortage of affordable homes and the high cost of housing as significant contributors.

Many Americans find themselves living paycheck to paycheck, leaving them just one crisis away from homelessness, according to Olivet.

Geographically, California, New York, Florida, and Washington host the largest populations of homeless individuals. However, New Hampshire and New Mexico have experienced the most substantial increases in homelessness, with spikes of 52 percent and 50 percent, respectively. New York follows closely with a 39 percent increase.

The HUD report also sheds light on a positive note, noting that the number of people experiencing homelessness has decreased in 25 states and Washington, D.C. Despite this, the overarching trend signals an urgent need for comprehensive and immediate action to address the growing crisis of homelessness in the United States.

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