PHILADELPHIA – Homelessness has declined in Virginia, according to the latest national estimate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that the total number of persons experiencing homelessness in Virginia on a single night in 2017 fell 3.2 percent.
Local communities in Virginia reported an 11.7 percent decrease in the number of homeless people in families, a 7 percent decrease in veteran homelessness, and a 15.2 percent increase in individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.
“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.”
“While there’s an average decrease of 6.6 percent in total homelessness across the Mid-Atlantic region, our work is far from finished,” said Joe DeFelice, Regional Administrator of HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “We must continue to build on our progress and find enduring solutions to end all homelessness in the region. Every person deserves a safe, stable place to call home.”
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—in addition to quarterly counts from some communities 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.
On a single night in January 2017, state and local planning agencies in Virginia reported:
- 6,067 people experienced homelessness, representing a 3.2 percent decrease between 2016 and January 2017. Most homeless people (5,059) were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while 1,008 people were unsheltered.
- The number of people in families experiencing homelessness declined 11.7 percent since 2016.
- Veteran homelessness decreased by 7 percent between 2016 and January 2017. On a single night in January 2017, 515 veterans were experiencing homelessness.
- Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals increased by 15.2 percent over 2016 levels and declined 42.8 percent since 2010.
- The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in 2017 is estimated to be 303. This year, HUD and local communities launched an 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.
Read more information on state/local-level homelessness.