Homelessness has risen sharply in the United States, with a report from House and Urban Development (HUD) indicating that around 653,000 people were homeless, the highest number on record.
Inflation combined with the end of pandemic-era protections against eviction were the key culprits identified in the HUD report, released on Dec. 15. Another major factor noted in the report was the housing supply crunch.
HUD’s annual 2023 Point-in-Time Count, which measured homelessness on a single night in January 2023, showed a 12 percent rise in homelessness (or by 70,650 individuals) compared to a year earlier. This sent the total to 653,104 homeless people, the highest since the agency launched the point-in-time gauge in 2007.
“For those on the frontlines of this crisis, it’s not surprising. People across the country are struggling to pay skyrocketing rents,” Ann Olivia, CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, said in a statement.
The sharpest rise in homelessness was among people in families with children—this measure rose by 15.5 percent. Next was homelessness among unaccompanied youths, which increased by 15.3 percent.