New Annual Report from HUD Provides Insight into Homelessness in U.S.

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Data from HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) —the national benchmark for measuring homelessness in America—is now available.

Part 1 of HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR)—the national benchmark for measuring homelessness in America—is now available. Led by Abt Associates, AHAR reports data collected by communities on the incidence of homelessness and uses those data to identify trends and measure progress over time. The report is published in two parts: Part 1 analyzes and reports information on homelessness across the country at a single, specific point in time and Part 2 analyzes and reports data on homelessness over the course of a year.

This year’s Point-In-Time findings are derived from a single night in January 2018 and include:

  • Roughly 553,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. About two-thirds (65 percent) were staying in sheltered locations—emergency shelters or transitional housing programs—and about one-third (35 percent) were in unsheltered locations such as on the street, in abandoned buildings or in other places not suitable for human habitation.
  • Homelessness on a single night increased (though modestly) for the second year in a row. The number of homeless people on a single night increased by 0.3 percent between 2017 and 2018. Between 2017 and 2018, the unsheltered population increased by 2 percent (or 4,300 people). The number of individuals with chronic patterns of homelessness also increased by 2 percent between 2017 and 2018, but the total number is 26 percent lower than it was in 2007.
  • African Americans are considerably overrepresented among the homeless population. While accounting for 13 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans account for 40 percent of all people experiencing homelessness and 51 percent of people experiencing homelessness as members of families with children. In contrast, nearly 6 in 10 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness (most of whom do so as individuals) are white.

Part 2—released in October and also conducted by Abt—further expands the current understanding of homelessness, including more detailed information on the demographic characteristics of people experiencing homelessness and their housing situations before they became homeless.

Taken together, both reports give the federal government and communities across the nation the insights needed to continue devising strategies to combat—and eliminate—homelessness.

Read the findings from AHAR Part 1.

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is an engine for social impact, dedicated to moving people from vulnerability to security. Harnessing the power of data and our experts’ insights, we provide research, consulting and technical services globally in the areas of health, environmental and social policy, technology and international development. http://www.abtassociates.com.

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Amy Dunaway
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