Homelessness Decreases But Risk Rises

More Families are on the Brink

Terri LudwigIn her December 4, 2012, Huffington Post blog post, Terri Ludwig, CEO of Enterprise Community Partners, makes the case for why as we see the general homeless population declining, we need to turn to those living at risk of homelessness.

“Last month, new data from the Census Department revealed that a staggering 11 million renter households — one in every four — spend at least half of their monthly income on rent. That number has increased by more than 82 percent since 2000, as rents have steadily increased while wages stagnated,” writes Ludwig.

These households could soon be homeless if “housing insecurity” is not addressed.

“In the same way we know that homelessness is a solvable problem, we know what it takes to help families out of housing insecurity. It may seem obvious, but the answer is quality, affordable housing. And while the specific needs vary from community to community, three basic components are key to success: capital, solutions and policy.”

More specifically:

  • Increased capital is needed to preserve quality, affordable housing that gives family the access they need to economic and educational opportunities,
  • Efforts that have proven successful should be replicated, to scale, in new communities – focusing on proven solutions, and
  • Housing policy should be rebalanced at all level’s of government so that households most in need are targeted.

“According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, (CBPP) the federal government spends roughly $270 billion each year to help families buy or rent homes, more than half of which goes to families that earn more than $100,000 per year. Less than a quarter went to families earning less than $30,000, who are most likely to be housing insecure.”

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