HUD is pleased to announce the release of the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) Part 2. This report furthers our understanding of homelessness in our country by looking at the number of people in shelters over the course of a full year and providing in-depth information about their characteristics and use of the homeless services system.
HUD has published the AHAR each year since 2007 to give both national- and local-level information needed to track progress toward ending homelessness in the United States. This year’s report shows a modest decline in the number of people who experienced sheltered homelessness over the course of federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017 as compared to people who experienced sheltered homelessness in FFY 2016. There are 10.8 percent fewer people experiencing sheltered homelessness nationwide during FFY 2017 than in FFY 2007.
This downward trend has been particularly striking for veteran populations, a testament to the impactful partnership between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Compared to FFY 2009, when HUD began collecting information on this population, 20.9 percent fewer veterans experienced homelessness nationwide during FFY 2017; which means 31,000 fewer veterans were without a home. The report shows a 5.1 percent decline in veteran homelessness just between FFY 2016 and FFY 2017. HUD and VA will continue these efforts until all people who have served our country have a place to call home.
HUD and its federal partners will continue to support the efforts of local communities across the nation to end homelessness experienced by families with children, unaccompanied youth, and people who have chronic patterns of homelessness. The report provides insights into patterns of homelessness for each of these groups and helps us track the progress made nationally and by different types of communities. The report also puts the estimates of people experiencing homelessness in the broader context of renters with fragile housing situations, reporting some key findings from HUD’s latest Worst Case Housing Needs report and relating them to patterns of homelessness. By understanding the full nature of the problem, we will be in a better position to solve it.
We need to maintain a strong focus on collecting accurate data that can inform housing interventions and improve the lives of all Americans. This report shows continued progress toward ending homelessness, but also shows more progress is necessary.
While the 2017 AHAR Part 2 reports key findings of interest to national, state, and local stakeholders, it also demonstrates that we are improving our data collection, our understanding of what the data mean, and our willingness to make improvements along the way. These types of ongoing data improvements are important elements in the equation of ending homelessness in our country, once and for all. Working together through effective local and federal partnerships increases the likelihood that all individuals and families receive the right type and level of support to move out of homelessness and into a better life. HUD is committed to continuing its part in this important work until the job is done.
To access the full report, HMIS public use data, and the methodology report, view the 2017 AHAR Part 2 resource page on the HUD Exchange.