On December 15, 2023, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released it’s 2023 Annual Homeless Assessment Report: Part 1: Point-in-Time Estimates, which is an annual snapshot of the number of individuals in shelters, temporary housing, and in unsheltered settings. The report found more than 650,000 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2023, a 12% increase from 2022.

The point-in-time count found a record-breaking number of individuals experiencing homelessness, more than any of the previous counts and continuing the pre-pandemic trend of a rise in homelessness from 2016-2020. Overall, homelessness increased across all population segments, but there was significant overrepresentation among people identifying as Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian or Asian American. Nearly a third (31%) were people experiencing long-term homelessness, also the highest number recorded since 2007.

From HUD’s press release: “Homelessness is solvable and should not exist in the United States,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “From day one, this Administration has put forth a comprehensive plan to tackle homelessness and we’ve acted aggressively and in conjunction with our federal, state, and local partners to address this challenge. We’ve made positive strides, but there is still more work to be done. This data underscores the urgent need for support for proven solutions and strategies that help people quickly exit homelessness and that prevent homelessness in the first place.”

From CSH’s statement on the report: “This surge in homelessness across the nation is a sobering reality check, but it is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. The increase in homelessness is an entirely predictable and direct consequence of widespread shortages in affordable housing, compounded by a fragmented and undercapitalized infrastructure for essential community support services and individual economic insecurity.”