Duly Noted

HUD reports Michigan homelessness declines in 2016

Homelessness continues to decline in the U.S., specifically among families with children, veterans, and individuals with long-term disabling conditions according to the latest national estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  HUD’s 2016 Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found the overall number of persons experiencing homelessness in Michigan on a single night in 2016 fell by 28.7% since 2010,  the launch of the Obama Administration Opening Doors, the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness.

Since 2010, HUD estimates that Michigan experienced a 38%  reduction among homeless families, a 14% drop in veteran homelessness, and a 60.6% decline in individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. This estimate is based on data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the U.S. Every year on a single night in January, planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care” and tens of thousands of volunteers seek to identify the number of individuals and families living in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered settings.

In making the announcement, HUD Secretary Julián Castro noted that though the nation is making significant progress in reducing homelessness, the number of ‘doubled up’ or rent-burdened families remains a vexing problem.

“Every person deserves a safe, stable place to call home,” said Secy. Castro. “The Obama Administration has made unprecedented progress toward ending homelessness and today marks the seventh straight year of measureable progress. While we know that our work is far from finished, it’s clear we’re on the right track to prevent and end homelessness for good.”

The one-night ‘snapshot’ counts, as well as full-year counts and data from other sources (U.S. Housing Survey, Department of Education), are crucial in understanding the scope of homelessness and measure progress to reduce it.

On that night, state and local agencies in Michigan reported 9,316 people experienced homelessness, representing a 28.7% reduction from Jan. 2010. Most homeless persons (8,356) were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while 960 were unsheltered. The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children appeared to decline in 2016 to 725 though HUD will launch a more robust effort to more accurately account for this important population in Jan. 2017.

The Obama Administration's strategic plan to end homelessness is called Opening Doors – a roadmap for joint action by the 19 federal member agencies of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and local and state public/private sector partners.

For more, visit www.hudexchange.info/resource/5178/2016-ahar-part-1-pit-estimates-of-homelessness/