Rising Rents, Reduced Aid Drive Surge; Asian, Hispanic Populations Hit Hardest
By Dolores Quintana
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has stated that there has been a 12% increase in homelessness in the United States over the past year in its most recent report to Congress. The surge is attributed to rising rents and the waning impact of pandemic aid, affecting thousands of Americans. Contrary to prevailing belief, California and Los Angeles is not the only place with rising levels of homelessness.
The report explicitly states, “On a single night in 2023, roughly 653,100 people – or about 20 of every 10,000 people in the United States – were experiencing homelessness. Six in ten people were experiencing sheltered homelessness—that is, in an emergency shelter, transitional housing, or safe haven program—while the remaining four in ten were experiencing unsheltered homelessness in places not meant for human habitation.
Experiences of homelessness increased nationwide across all household types. Between 2022 and 2023, the number of people experiencing homelessness increased by 12 percent, or roughly 70,650 more people. The 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) count is the highest number of people reported as experiencing homelessness on a single night since reporting began in 2007.”
The homeless population of Asian and Asian Americans experienced a significant 40% rise, marking the highest percentage increase, while Hispanic or Latino individuals witnessed the largest numerical increase, with over 39,000 more reporting homelessness in 2023 compared to 2022.
According to HUD, the total number of homeless individuals rose by 70,650 this year compared to 2022. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge emphasized the critical need for support for effective solutions that swiftly assist individuals in exiting homelessness and preventing it altogether.
In California, Los Angeles City and County recorded an estimated 71,320 people experiencing homelessness, the second-highest nationwide after New York City (88,025). San Diego City and County ranked fifth with a homeless count of 10,264, while Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County were also among the top 10 with significant homeless populations.