On any given night, there are 800,000 people on the streets, with around 3.5 million people experiencing homelessness over the course of a year.
On any given night, there are 610,000 people experiencing homelessness, with around 4 million people experiencing homelessness over the course of a year. While our economy is still recovering from the recession, homelessness is again on the rise in 23 states. Families experiencing homelessness is one of the largest growing segments of the homeless population. In the 2013 Hunger and Homelessness Survey of the American Conference of Mayors, only 7 out of 25 cities surveyed did not report an increase in family homelessness in 2013.
Inherently connected to the problem of homelessness is the availability of safe and affordable housing. Lack of affordable housing is consistently ranked the most common cause of homelessness. According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, a worker must make $18.79 per hour to afford a modest two-bedroom rental unit – nearly twice the federal minimum wage. While we had a surplus of affordable housing in 1970, we now have a deficit of 5.5 million units according to the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness. Federal programs that assist low-income people in finding suitable housing are insufficient to meet the demand.
The National Housing Trust Fund was created in 2008 to seek to close this gap, but lacks a viable source of funding. Please urge your Members of Congress to establish a dedicated source of funding for the National Housing Trust Fund.