HUD 2022 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Finds Unsheltered Homelessness on the Rise

HUD has released the 2022 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), Part 1, which provides estimates of homelessness in the U.S. The 2022 report estimates that approximately 582,500 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2022, which represents a slight .3% increase from 2020. The increase was driven by a rise in unsheltered homelessness, or people living in places not meant for human habitation, such as streets, parks, vehicles, or abandoned buildings. According to the report, unsheltered homelessness increased by 3.4% (7,752 people) between 2020 and 2022. At the same time, sheltered homelessness fell by 1.6%. Among people experiencing homelessness, 60% were staying in sheltered locations, while 40% were staying in unsheltered locations.

The AHAR summarizes estimates of homelessness at the national, state, and Continuum of Care (CoC) levels based on data from the annual point-in-time (PIT) counts of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2022. CoCs are local planning bodies responsible for coordinating homelessness services. The PIT counts, conducted by local volunteers, are a “snapshot” of homelessness. Few CoCs conducted a PIT count of unsheltered homelessness in 2021 due to challenges related to the pandemic, so this year’s report compares changes in homelessness primarily between 2020 and 2022.

Most people experiencing homelessness were individuals, making up 72% (421,392) of people experiencing homelessness. This year marks the first time that the number of individuals experiencing homelessness exceeded the number from 2007, the first reporting year. In 2022, the increase in individuals experiencing homelessness was driven entirely by the number of adults over the age of 24 experiencing homelessness, which rose by more than 17,000 between 2020 and 2022. Twenty-eight percent of people experiencing homelessness (161,070) were in families composed of at least one adult and one child. The number of families experiencing homelessness decreased by more than 10,000 people between 2020 and 2022. Unaccompanied youth under age 18 make up 5% (30,090) of the total homeless population, and these youth are counted as individuals experiencing homelessness. Veterans made up 6.8% (33,129) of people experiencing homelessness and almost all (98%) veterans were experiencing homelessness as individuals rather than as part of a family.  

People who identify as Black, Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Native Hawaiian continue to be overrepresented among the homeless population compared to the U.S. population. Black people, for example, represent 12% of the U.S. population, but accounted for 37% of all people experiencing homelessness in 2022. People identifying as Latino account for 24% of the homeless population, and the number of Latino people experiencing homelessness increased considerably between 2020 and 2022, rising 8%. American Indian, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian people account for over 5% of the homeless population.

Trends in homelessness vary across CoCs, which are categorized based on the type of geographic area they serve. Major city CoCs are home to half of all people experiencing homelessness, and the rate of unsheltered homelessness is highest in these CoCs. Nearly 25% of people experiencing homelessness are served by largely suburban CoCs, followed by largely rural CoCs (18.4%), and other largely urban CoCs (6.7%). Though people experiencing homelessness predominantly reside in urban areas, rural and suburban areas have seen an uptick in their sheltered homeless populations over the last year. From 2021 to 2022, the share of sheltered people experiencing chronic homelessness increased 27% in rural CoCs and 12% in suburban CoCs. The share of sheltered families experiencing homeless increased 18% in rural CoCs and 27% in suburban CoCs.

The 2022 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, Part 1 is available at: