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An annual report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found that more than 326,000 people experienced sheltered homelessness on a single night in the U.S. in 2021, down 8% from the previous year.
The Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, based on data from the point-in-time count conducted in January 2021, reflects the impact of emergency housing assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said the decrease from 2020 “suggest that federal COVID-19 relief had positive impacts on sheltered homelessness” and said the administration would continue to lean on funds from the COVID relief bills passed by Congress and other resources to work toward the goal of ending homelessness.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness cautioned that the 2021 AHAR may not give a full picture of homelessness in the U.S., however, because the pandemic prevented data collection from the estimated 40% of the homeless population that is unsheltered on a given night, and some cities did not conduct a count last year. Nan Roman, CEO of the nonprofit, added in a statement that because the findings reflect the impact of emergency assistance, “without continued investment, we anticipate homelessness will rise again in the coming months.”
Read the full article about sheltered homelessness by Jason Plautz at Smart Cities Dive.