New Jersey – Homelessness decreased 4.0 percent in New Jersey according to the latest national estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While overall homelessness decreased, HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that homelessness increased in some New Jersey counties, highlighting the need to continue to focus on ending homelessness in the Garden State. However, homelessness among families with children declined 7.5 percent in state since 2016, and 57% since 2010.
In New Jersey, local communities reported 8,536 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, 359 persons less than in 2016. Meanwhile, local communities in New Jersey report the number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness increased 30 percent and Veterans increased 4.8 percent.
“In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast, the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets. This is not a federal problem—it’s everybody’s problem.”
“Homelessness in New Jersey has seen a steady decline over the last few years and while the overall numbers are down, the Point-In-Time Count is HUD’s reality check; it tells us what we need to focus on,” said Lynne Patton, HUD Region II Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “I am aware of the good work and the passion our grantees, advocates, and volunteers invest in getting our men, women, and children into a place they call home; and I will continue to support them in this effort.”
HUD’s national estimate is based upon data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the nation. Every year on a single night in January, planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care” and tens of thousands of volunteers seek to identify the number of individuals and families living in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered settings. These one-night ‘snapshot’ counts, as well as full-year counts and data from other sources (U.S. Housing Survey, Department of Education), are crucial in understanding the scope of homelessness and measuring progress toward reducing it.
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Key National Findings of HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report:
On a single night in January 2017, state and local planning agencies (Continuums of Care) in New Jersey reported:
• 8,536 people were homeless representing an overall 4.0 percent decrease from 2016 and a
38 percent decrease since 2010.
• Most homeless persons 7,122 were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while a total of 1,414 persons were unsheltered.
• The number of families with children experiencing homelessness declined 76 percent since 2016 and 95 percent since 2010.
• Veteran homelessness increased 4.8 percent (or 27 persons) since January 2016. Since 2010, Veteran homelessness in New Jersey increased 2.8 percent. On a single night in January 2017, 583 Veterans were experiencing homelessness.
• Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals increased 30 percent over 2016 levels and increased by 22 percent (or 192 persons) since 2010.
• The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in 2017 is estimated to be 492. This year, HUD and local communities launched a more intense effort to more accurately account for this important, difficult to count population. HUD will treat 2017 as a baseline year for purposes of tracking progress toward reducing youth homelessness.