November 19, 2016
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - For the second straight year, Los Angeles has registered the largest number of chronically homeless people in America -- nearly 13,000 -- with the majority living outdoors, a federal report released Thursday said.
The report by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development said the California city -- often described as the homeless capital of America -- also tops the nation in terms of the number of homeless veterans and the number of unaccompanied homeless youth.
"Between 2015 and 2016, Los Angeles experienced the largest increase in chronically homeless individuals, with 614 more individuals experiencing chronic patterns of homelessness (a 5% rise)," the report submitted to Congress said.
It said increases in the number of homeless were also recorded in several other cities including Seattle, Dallas and the District of Columbia.
Officials said the rise in those cities could be explained by soaring rents and a dearth in affordable housing.
A chronically homeless person is someone who has continuously been without a home for more than a year.
Overall, California also topped the nation in terms of the number of chronically homeless individuals (29,802), the report said, followed by Florida (5,415), New York (4,112) and Texas (3,534).
"On a single night in January 2016, four in 10 individuals with chronic patterns of homelessness in the United States were in California," according to the report.
The majority of the homeless nationwide were identified as white males over the age of 24.