HUD reports homelessness declined in Michigan this year

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a report Wednesday on homelessness in America.

According to the latest estimate, homelessness went down in Michigan, while overall homelessness showed a slight increase.

“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.”

HUD's 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress outlined the following regarding homelessness in Michigan:

On a single night in January 2017, state and local planning agencies (Continuums of Care) in Michigan reported:

• 9,051 people were homeless representing an overall decrease of 2.9 percent decrease from 2016 and a decrease of 4,007 persons or a 30.7% percent reduction since 2010. 

• Most homeless persons, 8,028, (88.7%) were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while total 1,023 persons, (12.7%) were unsheltered.

• The number of unsheltered homeless individuals in 2017 (913), increased by 10 percent from 2016 but decreased 54.2 percent since 2010.

• The number of families with children experiencing homelessness in 2017 (3,423), declined 2.6 percent (97) since 2016 and declined by nearly 40 percent (2,270) since 2010. 

• On a single night in January 2017, 773 veterans were experiencing homelessness. Veteran homelessness decreased 6 percent (or 49 persons) since January 2016. Since 2010, however, Veteran homelessness in Michigan declined 19.8 percent and by nearly 46% nationally. 

• Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals decreased 1.4 percent (or 10 persons) over 2016 levels and declined by 61.1% percent since 2010.

• The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in 2017 is estimated to be 608 Youth. 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.

“All individuals deserve to have a safe and decent place to call home,” said Deputy Regional Administrator James A. Cunningham. “While we have made significant strides in reducing the number of individuals experiencing homelessness, we must remain committed to implementing strategies that make it a rare, brief and non-recurring event.”