A Closer Look at the Impact of California on the 2017 National Homeless Count Results

-California Experienced a Significant Increase in Homelessness
While the Rest of the Country Collectively Experienced a Decrease- 

-Approximately Half of State’s Continuums of Care Counted More Persons Homeless in 2017- 

Half of the 42 Continuums of Care* (CoCs) in California counted more persons homeless in 2017 when compared to the number of persons counted as homeless in 2016, as detailed in Table 1 below. 

The table includes numbers reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a requirement by HUD for CoCs to receive annual Continuum of Care Program funding, which amounted to around $2 billion dollars for recent years.  

What is also noteworthy concerns the California counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Santa Clara, and Alameda, which are six of the 22 most populated counties in the United States. Each of them are a HUD designated countywide continuum of care. Each one reported an increase in 2017 when compared to their 2016 numbers. Five of them report an increase of 10% or more and one, San Diego County, reported an increase of 5.6% as noted in Table 1. 

Thus, California experienced a weighty increase in homelessness in 2017 while the rest of the country collectively experienced a decrease similar to annual national decreases for each year during this decade. To learn more see The Impact of California on the 2017 Homeless Count Results, which includes state-by-state results. 

What Next? 

There are several new regulatory and financial resources that have been initiated to increase the number of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing units in California, which will be the focus of upcoming briefs and reports.  

A few of the new regulatory and financial resources are:

  • Senate Bill 2: Building Homes and Jobs Act which establishes permanent, ongoing sources of funding dedicated to affordable housing development;
  • No Place Like Home Initiative for the construction and rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals with mental illness;
  • Assembly Bill 1505 authorizes “the legislative body of any county or city to adopt ordinances to require, as a condition of development of residential rental units, that the development include a certain percentage of residential rental units affordable to, and occupied by, moderate-income, lower income, very low income, or extremely low income households or by persons and families of low or moderate income.” 

 

Table 1. Comparison of the total number of persons counted as homeless in 2016 and 2017 by California Continuums of Care. 

Continuum of Care

2016

2017

Difference

 

 

 

#

%

San Jose/Santa Clara City & County CoC

6,524

7,394

+870

+13.3

San Francisco CoC

6,996

6,858

-138

-2.0

Oakland, Berkeley/Alameda County CoC

4,145

5,629

+1,484

+35.8

Sacramento City & County CoC

2,500

3,665

+1,165

+46.6

Santa Rosa, Petaluma/Sonoma County CoC

2,906

2,835

-71

-2.4

Richmond/Contra Costa County CoC

1,730

1,607

-123

-7.1

Salinas/Monterey, San Benito Counties CoC

3,022

3,364

+342

+11.3

Marin County CoC

1,258

1,117

-141

-11.2

Watsonville/Santa Cruz City & County CoC

1,959

2,249

+290

+14.8

Mendocino County CoC

1,242

1,238

-4

-0.3

Turlock, Modesto/Stanislaus County CoC

1,434

1,661

+227

+15.8

Stockton/San Joaquin County CoC

1,780

1,542

-238

-13.4

Daly City/San Mateo County CoC

1,361

1,253

-108

-7.9

Visalia/Kings, Tulare Counties CoC

792

853

+61

+7.7

Fresno City & County/Madera County CoC

1,883

2,016

+133

+7.1

Roseville, Rocklin/Placer, Nevada Counties

1,021

979

-42

-4.1

Redding/Shasta County CoC

1,272

934

-338

-26.6

Napa City & County CoC

317

315

-2

-0.6

Vallejo/Solano County CoC

1,118

1,232

+114

+10.2

Chico, Paradise/Butte County CoC

574

1,195

+621

+108.2

Merced City & County CoC

516

454

-62

-12.0

Davis, Woodland/Yolo County CoC

532

459

-73

-13.7

Humboldt County CoC

1,134

759

-375

-33.1

Colusa, Glen, Trinity Counties CoC*

115

176

+61

+53.0

Yuba City/Sutter County CoC

702

760

+58

+8.3

El Dorado County CoC

269

602

+333

+123.8

Tuolumne, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa Counties CoC

632

367

-265

-41.9

Tehama County CoC**

133

124

-9

-6.8

Lake County CoC*

332

401

+69

+20.8

Alpine, Inyo, Mono Counties CoC*

-

121

-

-

Los Angeles City & County CoC

43,854

55,188

+11,334

+25.8

San Diego City and County CoC

8,669

9,160

+491

+5.7

Santa Ana, Anaheim/Orange County CoC

4,319

4,792

+473

+11.0

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County CoC

1,813

1,860

+47

+2.6

Bakersfield/Kern County CoC

1,067

810

-257

-24.1

Long Beach CoC

2,250

1,863

-387

-17.2

Pasadena CoC

530

575

+45

+8.5

Riverside City & County CoC

2,165

2,406

+241

+11.1

San Bernardino City & County CoC

1,887

1,866

-21

-1.1

Oxnard, San Buenaventura/Ventura County CoC

1,271

1,152

-119

-9.4

Glendale CoC

240

168

-72

-30.0

Imperial County CoC

380

1,154

+774

+203.7

San Luis Obispo County CoC

1,368

1,125

-243

-17.8

 

 

 

 

 

Total:

118,012

134,278

+16,266

+13.8

 __________________________________

See which states experienced increases and decreases in persons counted as homeless between 2016 and 2017: Nationwide 2017 Homeless Count Numbers Broken Down by Region in U.S. 

 For more information regarding the results of the 2017 homeless count and next steps, see  

  • 2017 AHAR: Part 1 - PIT Estimates of Homelessness in the U.S, which is a report published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which "outlines the key findings of the 2017 Point-In-Time (PIT) count and Housing Inventory Count (HIC) conducted in January 2017. Specifically, this report provides 2017 national, state, and CoC-level PIT and HIC estimates of homelessness, as well as estimates of chronically homeless persons, homeless veterans, and homeless children and youth."


*Continuums of care are the planning body responsible for meeting the goals of the continuum of care program as outlined in the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing: Continuum of Care Interim Rule (see https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/CoCProgramInterimRule_FormattedVersion.pdf).

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