A: Homelessness is a national crisis. It is difficult to accurately measure the size of the homeless population, but the magnitude of the crisis is indicated by various data sources, including two national data sets collected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED).
A: Homelessness has been divided into three (3) distinct categories:
- Absolute Homelessness
- Concealed Homelessness
- Individuals “At-Risk” of Becoming Homeless
A: Some of the strongest evidence linking renters’ legal rights and homelessness look at the costs of evictions and the cost savings of preventing evictions.
Evictions, and the homelessness and other harms it causes, carry significant costs to taxpayers. A growing number of studies, many conducted within the context of evaluating the cost-effectiveness of providing a right to legal counsel in housing cases, demonstrate that preventing evictions results in millions of dollars in tax dollar savings.
The studies rely on data showing that spending on homelessness decreases significantly when renters’ rights are protected by counsel in eviction court.
A: Finding an apartment to rent is often a stressful process, no matter what your economic circumstances are or where you live. Unfortunately, in many cities across the United States, a landlord can kick you out for no reason at all. This is known as “no-fault” (or “no-cause”) evictions.
“No Fault” evictions usually involve tenants under a month-to-month lease agreement. These tenants can be evicted even when they did nothing to violate their lease.
There are a number of reasons why landlords choose to employ a “no-fault” eviction:
- Evicting a current tenant allows landlords to re-list their unit at a higher price.
- Evicting a current tenant allows landlords to redevelop or renovate in order to re-list their unit at a higher price.
A: Governments must implement policies that directly address the underlying causes of housing instability and homelessness.
Preventing and ending homelessness should be major factors in governments’ decision-making processes, laws, policies, and practices related to housing in order for us to eradicate homelessness as we know it today.
Therefore, in order to do your part to help the homeless population in America, volunteer your time and vote for government officials that have taken a stance against homelessness and the underlying issues with housing stability.