Mortgage Crisis Fueling America's Homelessness Boom

<p>The mortgage crisis is contributing to a dramatic increase in homeless families.</p>
October 15, 2007, 6am PDT | Michael Dudley
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"Data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development suggests there about 750,000 homeless in the nation on any given night, with about 40 percent of those members of homeless families, said Philip Mangano, director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Up to 26,500 Washingtonians are without a home or safe place to sleep on any given night, according to recent estimates. Families with children are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population nationwide and make up nearly half of all people staying in King County homeless shelters.

The overall number of homeless people is up from a few years ago, but nobody can pinpoint an exact number of families because reporting requirements vary widely from state to state.

[T]he increase [is owed] to a convergence of low wages, high housing costs, an increase in housing foreclosures and cuts in federal and state housing assistance programs...families are also being squeezed by the recent national lending crisis, as high mortgages that have forced some landlords to sell or face foreclosure."

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Published on Monday, October 8, 2007 in Common Dreams
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