The number of homeless people across the country increased for the first time this year from the depths of the recession, an increase related to increased rents in states and cities facing acute housing shortages.
Annual Report Issued to Congress by The Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that nearly 554,000 people were left homeless in January, just under 1 percent from the previous year. That ends six consecutive years of decline since 2010, when 637,000 Americans were left homeless.
It also shows that the number of chronically homeless people – those who have been homeless for at least a year – increased for the first time since 2008.. That figure increased by 12 percent from the previous year, although it is still down by more than a quarter since the beginning of the recession.
Homeless populations decreased in 30 states across the country. But some states saw big leaps in homelessness, including North Dakota, California, New Mexico and Vermont, the HUD report found.
Much of that increase is due to higher rents in places like Los Angeles, where the homeless population increased more than 25 percent, and in the oil fields of North Dakota, where the boom in fracturing caused a serious shortage of housing.  "In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast, the serious shortage of affordable housing manifests itself in our streets," Secretary of HUD Ben Carson Benjamin (Ben ) Solomon CarsonBharara, Yates top Twitter list of most new political accounts followed Armstrong Williams wants to buy Washington City Paper: informs that Trump promised that the best people & # 39; they would direct the government; He was overturned MORE he said in a statement. "With rentals rising faster than incomes, we have to bring everyone to the table to produce more affordable housing and relieve the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors to our shelters and our streets."
Many cities, especially those in fast-growing western states, have seen homelessness grow as rents rise. Monthly rents rose by more than 4 percent in 18 of the 50 largest cities in the country in the last year, according to an analysis by real estate firm Zillow, which includes more than 5 percent in San Diego; Kansas City, Mo .; Colorado Springs, Colo .; Tucson, Arizona; and Sacramento.
Average monthly income exceeds $ 4,300 in San Francisco. In 12 other cities, from Seattle to Washington, to Miami and Honolulu, Hawaii, an average of $ 2,000 a month is rented.
About a dozen governments of cities and counties, in places like Anaheim, California, San Diego, Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., Have declared states of emergency to deal with the growing homeless population in recent years.
HUD's annual study studies the lack of housing nationwide in a single night. It does not take into account families and individuals who might experience homelessness at other times of the year, although it does provide a snapshot of where housing is growing or decreasing.
The lack of housing in the main cities increased by 5 percent in the last year. In many cases, the HUD report found that major cities lack the capacity to shelter the homeless, leaving many people on the streets.
About three-quarters of the homeless in Los Angeles and Fresno, California, were not the January survey. More than two-thirds of the homeless in Oakland, California, and Las Vegas, and almost two-thirds of the homeless in Hawaii, were not protected.
In contrast, only 3 percent of the homeless in Boston and 5 percent of the homeless in New York City lived outside shelters.
Cities and states have drastically increased the number of emergency shelters and the number of permanent shelters housing support units in recent years, the HUD report found. There are 353,000 units of permanent supportive housing throughout the country, more than 100,000 since 2010. Shelter beds have also grown, from 221,000 in 2010 to 277,000 at present.
In the last decade, the homeless population in New York has jumped a third, or approximately 9,300 people. California, Washington, Nevada and Hawaii have also seen big leaps in homelessness. Florida, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey and Arizona have seen their homeless population fall by more than a third.
The homeless population in the United States is overwhelmingly male: about 71 percent of the respondents in the January study were men. Hispanics and African Americans are disproportionately likely to have experienced homelessness, and it is also disproportionate that they have been evicted. Only 52 percent of the homeless population surveyed was white.
The vast majority of the homeless population in the United States-about 90 percent-is over 25 years old, but HUD analysts found more than 40,000 unaccompanied youth on the streets, the report says. About a third of that total population lives in a few western cities: Los Angeles, San Jose, California, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego.