Approximately one out of 100 people are homeless in Washington, D.C., The area topped state rankings of homeless rates recently released by Security.org, a security research provider.
The District led other cities and states in the rankings by a huge margin, with 994 per 100,000 people living without permanent shelter. The states with the highest homeless rates included New York (463 of 100,000), Hawaii (457), Oregon (349), California (329), Washington (301), Massachusetts (293), Alaska (273), Nevada (252), Vermont (207) and Colorado (194).
The study analyzed data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s 2018 Point in Time (PIT) count, a report that calculates homelessness figures.
Its one of the latest contributions to a growing body of granular research on homelessness. Zillow Group released a report that highlighted a link between rising rents and homelessness, while another study noted a correlation between high home prices and homelessness. The issue is receiving attention during the Democratic primary race, with Bernie Sanders’ housing plan, for example, calling for $32 billion to guarantee permanent shelter to all.
Nearly 553,000 people were homeless in the U.S. when the 2018 estimate was calculated for one January night that year. That was up marginally for the second year in a row. Nonetheless, homelessness at the nationally level has declined overall since 2007, with the homeless rate falling by 6 percent over the past five years to 168 per 100,000 people.
Despite the overall downward trend, homelessness has grown worse in some states. Nine saw their rates climb over the past five years, according to the Security.org study. Over the same time span, half of the 10 states with the highest homeless rates posted increases, the study found.
The states showing the highest increases were South Dakota, Delaware, Washington, Oregon, New York, Alaska, California, New Hampshire and Colorado.
The study also flagged the 32 cities with the “biggest homelessness problems.” These were cities where homeless rates stood above the national rate or ran against the downward trend and increased between 2014 and 2018.
This group included Eugene, Oregon; New York City; Los Angeles,;San Jose-Santa Clara, California; Seattle-Tacoma; Anchorage; Las Vegas; San Francisco-Oakland; Savannah, Georgia; and San Diego.