Homelessness Rising Among Families – Chuck Barberini Real Estate
Chuck Barberini Realtor – Contra Costa County Real Estate – Intero Walnut Creek
DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2015
Total homelessness has fallen 10 percent in the country since 2010, but among one segment, homelessness is on the rise. A new blog post from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies notes that homelessness among families remains persistently high.
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More than a third of the total homeless population is made up of people in families, and more than 60 percent of this segment have children who are under the age of 18.
The number of homeless families living in shelters – such as emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, or safe havens – is growing. Nearly nine in 10 homeless people in families were staying in shelters in 2014.
In some pockets across the country, the number has risen to the highest on record, JCHS notes. For example, in New York City, homeless families are estimated to comprise the majority of homeless shelter residents, rising by 67 percent alone between January 2005 and January 2015, according to the advocacy group Coalition for the Homeless.
“Since the end of the recession, the affordable housing shortage has continued to play a major role in rising rates of family homelessness,” JCHS research assistant Irene Law notes on the Housing Perspectives blog. “Between 2010 and 2014, in high-cost locations where affordable rentals are in short supply, the number of homeless people in families increased substantially: by 50 percent in the District of Columbia, 41 percent in Massachusetts, and 22 percent in New York. The problem is acute in urban areas across the country.”
Indeed, 45 percent of all homeless families lived in major cities in 2014. Nearly 20 percent lived in New York City, which had the highest concentration of homeless families nationwide at 41,633, followed by Los Angeles City and County at 6,229.
“The current inventory of permanent supportive housing largely targets single adults, especially those with chronic patterns of homelessness,” notes Lew at the JCHS blog. “Although the number of permanent supportive housing beds has increased significantly since 2007, a substantial share of permanent supportive housing beds are set aside for individuals rather than families. The limited availability of subsidies for the services component, as well as higher operating expenses compared to affordable housing, present challenges for expanding the supply of permanent supportive housing.”
Source: “Despite Declines in Homelessness, Family Homelessness Persists,” Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (Aug. 12, 2015)