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The State of Homelessness in America 2013
Report | April 8, 2013
Files: The State of Homelessness 2013 (PDF | 9.42 MB | 56 pages) SOH 2013: Chapter 1 - Homelessness Counts (PDF | 2.96 MB | 11 pages) SOH 2013: Chapter 2 - Economic and Housing Factors (PDF | 4.41 MB | 10 pages) SOH 2013: Chapter 3 - Demographic and Household Factors (PDF | 2.12 MB | 4 pages) SOH 2013: Executive Summary (PDF | 130 KB | 3 pages) SOH 2013: Appendices (PDF | 315 KB | 20 pages)
The State of Homelessness in America is an annual report released by the Alliance. The most recent report, from 2014, can be found here.
The estimates of homelessness found in the State of Homelessness in America reports from 2007 to 2013 do not reflect the current estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is due to retroactive changes to improve data quality.
This is an excerpt from the report. To download the full report, please use the link above.
The State of Homelessness in America 2013 examines trends in homelessness between 2011 and 2012 as well as the economic, housing, and demographic context in which homelessness changes over time. The report shows that, overall, the homeless population decreased by less than 1 percent, but this is not the full story. While the number of people experiencing homelessness as part of a family increased slightly, the number of individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and those identifying as veterans decreased significantly.
The mixed findings may be related to policy changes as well as to the economic climate in which these changes are taking place. Increased federal investment in effective solutions, such as permanent supportive housing, has been aimed at veterans and chronically homeless individuals. Also, during this time period, flexible federal resources were available to communities through the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) to help prevent and end homelessness for families and individuals. Despite these resources, increased competition for housing resources and growing housing cost burden combined with increases in the size of the population living in doubled-up situations and poor single-adult-headed families make attaining and maintaining housing more difficult for families and single adults who are not chronically homeless.
The State of Homelessness in America 2013, the third in a series from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, uses the most recently available national data from a variety of sources: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Association of State Budget Officers. This report includes three chapters. Chapter One presents data on homelessness at the national and state levels using point-in-time estimates of the overall homeless population and subpopulations, measured in 2011 and 2012. Chapter Two describes economic and housing factors that impact homelessness including housing cost and unemployment. Chapter Three describes demographic and household factors that impact homelessness including population groups that are at increased risk.
A series of appendices provide detailed, state-level information on all homelessness data and contextual factors described in this report as well as two-year trends.
Demographic and Household Factors
Emphasis needs to be placed on creating more affordable housing and strengthening the safety net to prevent homelessness. Federal assistance that was previously available to fill some of those gaps—through the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP)—has been depleted and not replaced. Still, rapid re-housing works: communities have been able to decrease the amount of time households spend homeless and increase the number of households they serve.
Federal investment in rapid re-housing is increasing, but it is still not sufficient to address all of the need. During Fiscal Year 2013, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs made $300 million available for community-based grants for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing through the Supportive Services for Veterans Families(SSVF) program. The Administration also published a memo to states urging them to consider using Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) assistance to help families gain and maintain housing stability. The new Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program does provide flexible resources for communities to rapidly re-house households, but it has not been fully funded.
Finally, efforts to improve data quality and ongoing assessment of need and planning for interventions need to continue. Efforts include developing consistent and better methodologies for conducting the annual point-in-time counts of homeless persons. In addition, the HUD requirement that youth be included in the point-in-time counts will provide much needed information on an overlooked homeless subpopulation and provide a more comprehensive view of homelessness in the United States.