“FACT: Rates of homelessness in the U.S. remained essentially unchanged between 2008-2012. This is surprising indeed, especially against the backdrop of a recession that had its origins in the housing market, and in which tens of thousands of homeowners lost their homes.

Evan Horowitz made an important contribution to the conversation, ‘Does poverty drive homeless rates? Not so fast,’ in the Boston Globe this past August. He analyzes multiple datasets and suggests that homelessness is not indexed to poverty rates, as one might assume, but rather to housing costs. It turns out that homelessness is actually lowest in some of the poorer areas of the country such as Mississippi and Alabama; and homelessness stays high and gets higher in red-hot housing markets. He draws the conclusion that the plummeting costs of housing opened up lower-rent stock during the economic recession, and the mechanisms of the market did the rest.”

Read Judy Perlman’s full post in Rooflines, the National Housing Institute’s Shelterforce blog.

Photo Credit: Flickr / Kenny McDonald