HUD says the annual homelessness count in Jan. 2022 found about half a million Americans on the streets. The White House’s ‘All In’ initiative hopes to change that.
WASHINGTON – The Biden administration said Monday it would work to reduce homelessness by 25% within the next three years in part by expanding housing support.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said there were about a half million people who experienced homelessness at least one night as of January 2022.
President Joe Biden in a statement said the housing initiative, dubbed All In, is the most ambitious effort yet by any administration.
“My plan offers a roadmap for not only getting people into housing but also ensuring that they have access to the support, services and income that allow them to thrive,” he said. “It is a plan that is grounded in the best evidence and aims to improve equity and strengthen collaboration at all levels.”
Biden’s plan calls for improvements and expansions for housing support services. State-level governments, meanwhile, are called on to adopt their own 2025 goals to address homelessness.
Inflationary pressures are down from peak levels of close to 10% from earlier this year, though mortgages, rents and utility bills remain high. The Commerce Department reported inflation over the 12-month period ending in November was 7.1%, though shelter, education and apparel were among the higher-priced consumer items.
Only energy and groceries were higher than the 7.1% year-on-year inflation reported from the shelter component of the Consumer Price Index.
The strategy announced Monday builds on similar efforts from former President Barack Obama, for whom Biden served as vice president from January 2009 to January 2017.
Homelessness has increased slightly, however, even with a moratorium on evictions during 2021. The situation is particularly acute in Los Angeles, where newly-elected Mayor Karen Bass declared a state of emergency to deal with the situation in one of her first acts of office.
The city’s unhoused population has surged in recent years, with the nearly 42,000 people experiencing homelessness representing a near-2% increase from 2020, the last year a city survey was conducted. The slight increase experienced this year followed a 32% jump between 2018 and 2020.
“COVID-19 and its economic impacts could have led to significant increases in homelessness, however investments, partnerships and government agency outreach resulted in only a .3% increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness from 2020 to 2022,” HUD stated.
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