Decline in Homeless: Figures in Question

HUD's new report shows an astonishing decline in homelessness across the United States, but some groups are saying that they are too good to be true.

"Long Island advocates for the homeless said the declines occurred because HUD changed guidelines in late 2006 for counting the homeless, requiring an interview with each person counted. In 2005, counters could use their judgment to determine if a person was homeless.

Many homeless men and women - especially the chronically homeless - declined to be interviewed and were not counted, advocates said. From 2005 to 2007, the number of chronically homeless in Nassau fell from 164 to 12 and in Suffolk from 435 to 40, the federal report said.

"The numbers are down ... because there were restrictions put on us," said Connie Lassandro, Nassau County's director of housing and homeless services. "Obviously [HUD] is thrilled because they see the number is down. It's all about funding. If the numbers are down, they can say the need's not there."

Asked about the change yesterday, Johnston said interviews were not required. He said the decreases came as thousands of HUD-funded housing for the homeless became available. "We really believe these numbers," he said."

Full Story: Numbers of homeless drop, but some question data

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95