HUD Finds Homelessness Largely Unchanged in U.S. for 2018

HUD Finds Homelessness Largely Unchanged in U.S. for 2018



According to the latest national estimate by HUD, homelessness in the U.S. remained largely unchanged in 2018. HUD’s 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 552,830 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018, an increase of 0.3 percent since last year. Meanwhile, homelessness among veterans fell 5.4 percent and homelessness experienced by families with children declined 2.7 percent nationwide since 2017.

As in previous years, there is significant local variation in the data reported from different parts of the country. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia reported decreases in homelessness between 2017 and 2018, while 19 states reported increases in the number of persons experiencing homelessness.

Key findings of HUD’s 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. On a single night in January 2018, state and local planning agencies (Continuums of Care) reported:

  • 552,830 people were homeless representing an overall 0.3 percent increase from 2017 but a 13.2 percent decrease since 2010. This small increase is due to a 2.3 percent increase of unsheltered homelessness and nearly 4,000 persons staying in emergency shelters set up in areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate; western wildfires; and other storms and events.
  • Most homeless persons (358,363) were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs, while 194,467 persons were unsheltered.
  • The number of families with children experiencing homelessness declined 2.7 percent since 2017 and 29 percent since 2010.
  • On a single night in January 2018, 37,878 veterans experienced homelessness, a decline of 5.4 percent (or 2,142 persons) since January 2017. The number of female veterans dropped nearly 10 percent since last year. Overall, veteran homelessness in the U.S. declined by 49 percent since 2010.
  • 88,640 individuals experienced long-term homelessness in 2018, an increase of 2.2 percent over 2017 levels, though chronic homelessness declined by 16.4 percent (or 17,422 persons) since 2010.
  • The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in 2018 is estimated to be 36,361, a 5.1 percent decline since 2017. Last year, HUD and local communities launched a more intense effort to more accurately account for this important, difficult-to-count population. HUD is treating 2017 as a baseline year for purposes of tracking progress toward reducing youth homelessness.

Topics