Homelessness declined in Florida according to the latest national estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While overall homelessness decreased, HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that Veteran homelessness in Florida decreased three percent since January 2016, and 64 percent since 2010.
In Florida, local communities reported 32,190 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, a decrease of four percent since last year. Homelessness among families increased 0.7 percent across the state since 2016 and decreased 57 percent since 2010. Meanwhile, local communities in Florida report the number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness decreased nine percent over 2016 levels and declined by 53 percent since 2010.
Goal – to produce more affordable housing
“In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast, the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets. This is not a federal problem—it’s everybody’s problem.”
Much more work to be done
“Important progress is being made in the fight to end homelessness but there still remains much more work to be done,” said Denise Cleveland-Leggett, HUD Southeast Regional Administrator. “As we work closely with our partners in this ongoing effort we are resolute in our mutual commitment to vigorously and innovatively address homelessness.”
HUD’s national estimate is based upon data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the nation. 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. These 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 measuring progress toward reducing it.
Key National Findings of HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report:
On a single night in January 2017, state and local planning agencies (Continuums of Care) in Florida reported:
- 32,190 people were homeless representing an overall four percent decrease from 2016 and a 44 percent decrease since 2010.
- A total of 17,111 homeless persons were in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while 15,079 persons were unsheltered.
- The number of persons in families experiencing homelessness increased 0.7percent since 2016 and decreased 57 percent since 2010.
- Veteran homelessness decreased three percent (or 85 persons) since January 2016. Since 2010, however, Veteran homelessness in Florida declined 64 percent. On a single night in January 2017, 2,817 Veterans were experiencing homelessness.
- Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals decreased nine percent over 2016 levels and declined by 53 percent (or 4,281 persons) since 2010.
- The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in 2017 is estimated to be 2,019. This year, HUD and local communities launched a more intense effort to more accurately account for this important, difficult to count population. HUD will treat 2017 as a baseline year for purposes of tracking progress toward reducing youth homelessness.