National Coalition of Homeless Veterans
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2016 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report Shows Continued Decline in Homelessness

Nov. 21, 2016

Homelessness continues to decline in the U.S, specifically among families with children, veterans, and individuals with long-term disabling conditions according to the latest national estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD’s 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 549,928 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2016, a decline of 14 percent since 2010, the year the Obama Administration launched Opening Doors, the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness.

Over this seven-year period, HUD estimates the nation experienced a 23 percent reduction among homeless families, a 47 percent drop in veteran homelessness, and a 27 percent decline in individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. This 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.

During one night in late January of 2016, tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation sought to identify individuals and families living on their streets as well as in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs.  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.

Key Findings of HUD’s 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report:

On a single night in January 2016, state and local planning agencies reported:

  • 549,928 people were homeless representing an overall 14 percent reduction from January 2010. Most homeless persons (373,571) were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while 176,357 persons were unsheltered.
  • The number of families with children experiencing homelessness declined 23 percent since 2010.
  • Veteran homelessness dropped by 47 percent (or 34,616 persons) since January 2010. On a single night in January 2016, 39,471 veterans were experiencing homelessness.
  • Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals declined by 27 percent (or 77,486 persons) since 2010.
  • The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children appeared to decline in 2016 to 35,686 though HUD will launch a more robust effort to more accurately account for this important population in January of 2017.

Since the launch of Opening Doors, several states and local communities have declared an effective end to veteran homelessness. As a consequence of intense planning and targeted intervention, homelessness among veterans fell by nearly 50 percent since 2010.This decline is largely attributed to the close collaboration between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on a joint program called HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH). Since 2008, more than 79,000 rental vouchers have been awarded and approximately 111,000 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes of their own because of HUD-VASH.

To read the full 2016 AHAR, click here.


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