Bright Path Center

inflation making homelessness worse

Inflation & Homelessness

The cost of living is going up so quickly — through the price of gas and food and rent. Everywhere you turn, prices are rising, but wages aren’t keeping up.

These staggering rent increases are happening as a broader inflation wave has hit the country. Inflation reached a 40 year peak of 8.6 percent from May 2021 to May 2022. Increased spending on essentials such as food, energy, transportation, and health care may cause households to fall behind on housing payments. With prices of everything going up, it’s becoming a challenge to even maintain what low income families already have. Finding an affordable apartment keeps getting more unrealistic.

Income vs Expenses

Every $100 increase in median rent is associated with a 9%increase in the estimated homelessness rate, according to a 2020 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. 

rising cost of living making homelessness worse

Experts say that about 20% of people without a home are considered chronically homeless and living on the streets or in shelters. The vast majority lack a permanent address but are patching together living arrangements like cars, couch surfing, living with relatives and friends or in shelters.