Feds blame California, Oregon for national rise in homelessness


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Officials are pointing fingers at the West Coast, saying the increase in homeless people living in California and Oregon offset the decline in homelessness seen across most of the United States in 2019.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) called out the two West Coast states in a detailed report, saying both “offset those nationwide decreases, causing an overall increase in homelessness”

The report found that homelessness fell in 29 states and the District of Columbia in 2019, but that was offset by a spike in California, according to HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

Carson added that homelessness in California is “at a crisis level and needs to be addressed by local and state leaders with crisis-like urgency.”

According to numbers from federally-mandated Point In Time counts, California’s homeless population rose by 21,036 people to 151,278 statewide – that’s a 16% jump – and more than the total national increase by every other state combined.

Those numbers are based on the single-night counts conducted in January.

According to HUD, nearly 568,000 people were counted as homeless across the country in 2019.

The homeless count in California is 22.5% higher today than it was 9 years ago, according to the report.

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