Data from the most recent AHAR reports offer new insights on trends and patterns in homelessness.
In three major cities in California, more than 70 percent of people experiencing homelessness in 2017 were unsheltered, continuing a recent growth pattern of unsheltered homelessness in urban California. This is just one of many trends that we can see by examining data in the Annual Homeless Assessment Reports (AHAR) to Congress. Read the updated evidence base on Trends and Patterns of Homelessness for discussion of estimates from the most recent AHAR reports, which also show a long-term decline in homelessness for veterans and for individuals with chronic patterns of homelessness.
HUD has published the AHAR since 2007, and national, state, and local practitioners and policymakers have come to rely on the report for the most comprehensive estimates of homelessness in the United States on a single night and over the course of a year. Data from the AHAR is also critical to our understanding of longer-term changes in homelessness and provides the foundation for the Center’s synthesis of the evidence base on Trends and Patterns of Homelessness.
In December 2017, HUD published two updates:
- The 2016 AHAR – Part 2, which has one-year estimates of people experiencing sheltered homelessness from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, based on HMIS data, as well as Point-in-Time (PIT) estimates of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2016
- The 2017 AHAR – Part 1, which has PIT estimates of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2017
Our synthesis of the evidence by expert Alvaro Cortes discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the PIT and HMIS data and offers some interpretation of the policy and economic factors behind the trends and patterns.