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U.S. Homelessness Soars to Record High Amidst Pandemic and Rent Hikes

Homeless in US
Homelessness Soars in the U.S. Amidst Unprecedented Rent Increases and Pandemic Fallout (Photo: KHQ)

The United States has experienced a dramatic 12% increase in homelessness to its highest reported level as soaring rents and a decline in coronavirus pandemic assistance combined to put housing out of reach for more Americans, federal officials said Friday.

Homeless in US

Homelessness Soars in the U.S. Amidst Unprecedented Rent Increases and Pandemic Fallout (Photo: KADN)

Homelessness on the Rise

The number of homeless people in the US has increased by 12%, hitting the highest level ever recorded. This is because rents are going up and coronavirus pandemic aid is running out. Officials from the federal government say that around 653,000 people were experiencing homelessness in January. This is a big increase from the previous year and the highest number ever recorded since the inaugural point-in-time poll in 2007.

According to the most recent survey, a big part of the rise is due to people becoming homeless for the first time. This means that the downward trend in family homelessness that has been going on since 2012 has ended. House and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a full statement that these important findings make it clear that we need to back tried-and-true solutions and strategies right away to end homelessness quickly and keep it from happening in the first place.

The U.S. has been making steady progress for years in lowering the number of homeless people, mainly by focusing its efforts on homes for veterans. But in the last few years, this positive trend has gone the other way, and the number of homeless people has been slowly rising. There are a lot of different reasons for this worrying trend, but the severe lack of cheap homes and the sky-high prices of homes have left a lot of Americans living paycheck to paycheck and open to any possible crisis.

READ ALSO: Rising Rents Propel Homelessness: U.S. Sees 12% Surge In Homeless Population

The Impact of the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a big difference in the number of homeless people in the US. It was hard for many schools to keep track of families during the pandemic, and kids who didn’t have a home often got lost. The lack of housing is also being worked on by states and towns. Oregon lawmakers passed a $200 million housing plan earlier this year.

Different groups have been affected by the huge rise in homelessness. The number of homeless people has gone up by almost 11%, the number of homeless veterans has gone up by 7.4%, and the number of homeless families with children has gone up by an amazing 15.5%. Interestingly, Black people make up 37% of the homeless community even though they only make up 13% of the U.S. population as a whole. Shockingly, more than a quarter of homeless adults are over the age of 54. This shows how this problem affects many areas of people’s lives.

The scary numbers and what they mean are a strong call to action, asking policymakers, groups, and communities to work together to come up with and implement effective, long-lasting solutions to end homelessness and help the many people and families who are affected by it.

READ ALSO: Homelessness In The US Soars By 12% To Record High Amid Rising Rents And Pandemic Aid Cutbacks

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