Mayors’ Meeting Focuses on Housing Crisis

As the number of unhoused Americans grows, mayors met to learn from each other and assess their needs for federal support.

1 minute read

November 21, 2023, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial bird's eye view of unhoused encampment along roadside in Sacramento, California.

An encampment in Sacramento, California. | Marcus / Adobe Stock

Mayors from 21 cities across the nation met in Los Angeles to share potential actions for stemming the growing homelessness crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans, reports Carl Smith in Governing. “Shouldn’t the world’s wealthiest country, blessed with abundant space and smart enough to put a robot videographer on Mars, have what it takes to end it?” Smith asks.

“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hasn’t released its 2023 homeless assessment, but stakeholders expect it to show an increase of about 10 percent over 2022.” The change in the previous two years was just .3 percent, Smith notes.

“The solutions discussed included federal resources such as housing vouchers, emergency rental assistance and other protections against evictions.” However, a persistent housing shortage of roughly 7 million affordable units nationally make it difficult for people to access and keep housing.

According to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spokesperson who attended the meeting, the department is working to support cities by streamlining the housing voucher process and “launching an ‘accelerator’ to support those who want to expand the use of Medicaid to address housing problems.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2023 in Governing

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