The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its 2023 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, an annual snapshot of the number of individuals in shelters, temporary housing, and in unsheltered settings. The report found more than 650,000 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2023, a 12% increase from 2022.  See the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ 12 key data points here and an analysis about what’s driving the increases here.

Thanks to Gordie Calkins, Director of Individual Homelessness of the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, for culling these MA-specific findings from the report:

Findings about homelessness in general in Massachusetts
Fifth largest percent increase in homelessness from 2022-2023 (23.4% overall) and fifth largest absolute increase in homelessness from 2022-2023 (3,634 people)
Fourth largest percent increase in homelessness from 2007-2023 (26.5% overall)
Third largest decrease in homelessness during the pandemic (13.7% overall)
Fourth lowest percent of homeless that are unsheltered (7.1% overall)

Findings specifically about individuals experiencing homelessness
Massachusetts has had the fifth largest decrease in individuals experiencing homelessness since 2007 at a decrease of 24.5%

Findings specifically about members of households with children experiencing homelessness
Massachusetts had the 2nd largest increase in persons in families experiencing homelessness between 2007 and 2023 at 6047 people representing a 88.5% increase.
Massachusetts had the 2nd largest increase in persons in families experiencing homelessness between 2022 and 2023 at 2,906 people representing a 29.1% increase.
On the other hand, Massachusetts saw the second largest decrease in persons in families experiencing homelessness during the pandemic with a reduction of 15%)
7% of all people in families experiencing homelessness in the country were counted in Massachusetts.
Two-thirds of people experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts were doing so in families with children, the highest share in the country.
HUD included a paragraph explaining the changes in family homelessness in Massachusetts – offering considerable context to congress in a way that we’ve never seen before.  This paragraph, in part, says, “Massachusetts has a “right-to-shelter” law in force since 1983, requiring that no family household be denied shelter…Communities in the state identified several factors that contributed to this increase. Out of the 12 CoCs, 11 explicitly identified the worsening housing affordability crisis, with more families priced out of housing and needing emergency housing options. In addition, migrant families arriving in Massachusetts have no place to go other than to shelter programs. Additional factors related to the recent increases in family homelessness included the easing of pandemic-era restrictions on capacity and the opening of additional shelters to meet the expanding demand.”

Findings about Veteran Homelessness
Massachusetts had 545 homeless veterans statewide.  Of those only 33 were unsheltered – the fourth lowest percentage (6.1%) in the country. 

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