West Coast Housing Crisis Drives Up US Homeless Numbers Reader 12/07/2017 (Thu) 01:03:50 Id: 8ebca9 No.4157 del
The homeless population in the US has increased this year for the first time since 2010, driven by a surge in the number of people living on the streets in West Coast cities.

Rents have soared beyond affordability for many lower paid workers and now even a temporary setback can be enough to leave them out on the streets.

RT reports: The study by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development revealed nearly 554,000 homeless people across the US during local tallies conducted in January – up nearly one percent from 2016, AP reported.

Of that total, around 193,000 people had no access to nightly shelter and were forced to live all over, including cars, tents, streets. The unsheltered figure rose by over nine percent compared to two years ago.

Increases are said to be higher in several West Coast cities, where at least 10 local governments have declare states of emergency since 2015 due to a homelessness boom. One of the worst consequences of the West Coast homeless explosion is a deadly hepatitis A outbreak that prompted the California governor to declare a state of emergency in mid-October.

“The increase is almost entirely due to a surge in homelessness in Los Angeles and other cities facing severe shortages of affordable housing, say HUD officials.” ¦ Homeless Population Rises, Driven By West Coast Affordable-Housing Crisis https://t.co/bsSj5AAUjX

— Jeremy Moule (@jfmoule) December 6, 2017

While the overall homeless population in California, Oregon, and Washington soared by 14 percent over the past two years, the part of that population said to be “unsheltered” climbed 23 percent to 108,000. In Seattle, the unsheltered population grew by 44 percent over two years, to nearly 5,500. Sacramento, California also had a one-year increase of over 1,000 homeless people.

Those living on the streets say the region’s thriving economy is to blame. Rental prices have skyrocketed to unaffordable levels for lower-wage employees, who are at greater risk of becoming homeless.

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