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New Research Shows Homelessness Surged During COVID-19 National Emergency

Two new reports have been released by HUD showing that there was a rise in evictions and homelessness during the pandemic.

September 5, 2023

New research and data were released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) showing that despite high housing needs during the pandemic, rates of sheltered homelessness decline in 2021. The efforts done during the pandemic prevented the surge in eviction and housing instability and reduced homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 8.53 Million renter households have worst-case needs and this is the highest number reported by HUD since 1978. The households with the worst-case needs are the ones that have less income and do not receive any govt. Assistance and half of the income goes into rent. The rising rents and severe cost burdens further worsened the situation.

HUD’s annual homelessness report in 2021 revealed that only a few people entered a shelter program in 2021 and sheltered homelessness reduced by 17%.

HUD leaders highlight research findings suggesting that federal interventions, such as the Emergency Rental Assistance program, eviction moratoria, income supports like stimulus payments, enhanced unemployment insurance, and the enhanced Child Tax Credit, played a crucial role in preventing an escalation of homelessness and evictions.

HUD’s Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress were able to prevent millions of people from experiencing evictions and housing loss. We were able to prevent a spike in homelessness during the height of the pandemic. While we didn’t solve the challenge of homelessness – only ensuring an adequate supply of affordable housing and access to supportive care can do that – these data provide valuable insights about how we address homelessness and ensure every person has a safe and stable place to call home.”

The Biden-Harris administration has also deployed historic resources to address the issue of homelessness. HUD also released a first-of-its-kind package of $486 Million grants and 3300 housing choice vouchers to help 62 communities address homeless encampments and unsheltered homelessness.

U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and 19 Federal member agencies are partnering with the state or local governments to strengthen local efforts to move unsheltered people into homes in six places which includes Chicago, California, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Phoenix Metro.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Data Reports Show that Surge in Homelessness Was Averted During COVID-19 National Emergency”. Department of Housing and Urban Development, August 22, 2023,
Data Reports Show that Surge in Homelessness Was Averted During COVID-19 National Emergency | / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Last Updated: September 20, 2021