Homelessness stems from a lack of affordable housing. Increasing rents, destruction of traditional low-income housing, and cuts in federal housing programs threaten affordable housing with extinction.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 16, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — The foreclosure and economic crisis significantly increased homelessness and the number of families at risk of homelessness in cities and counties across the nation.

o The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development reports that on any given night in January 2011 there were approximately 636, 017 people homeless.

o The chronically homeless population has decreased 13% since 2007 due to an increase in the permanent supportive housing beds available.

o In 2011 four in ten homeless individuals were unsheltered and sleeping on the street or in cars, indicating a 2% increase in the unsheltered population since 2009.

o The 2012 Landscape on Housing Report found that almost 1 in 4 working households spends more than half of its income on housing.

o While the homeless population overall decreased nationally in the past year, it increased in 24 states and the District of Columbia, proving that much more needs to be done to address homelessness across the country.

Ø The Law Center’s Housing Program is dedicated to increasing housing resources for homeless people in both urban and rural communities. We advocate for an increase in federal funding for permanent, low-income housing.

Ø Title V of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 makes vacant federal properties available at no cost to non-profits, including state and local government agencies, for use as facilities to assist homeless people.

o The Law Center was instrumental in the Act’s passage, and has helped enforce Title V for the last sixteen years

o The Law Center continues to monitor compliance with the court’s orders and helps non-profits and government agencies obtain federal properties.

o To date, the federal government has transferred land and buildings worth over $100,000 million to providers to serve homeless people under the Title V program

Ø We address the issue of housing from multiple perspectives. We are particularly effective in assisting homeless service providers gain access to free federal surplus property.

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty is not an actual provider of housing or shelter.

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