King County has the third highest homeless population.
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That’s according to data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which combines Seattle and King County’s homeless population in the department’s latest report.
Seattle’s homeless population is a stark contrast to some of the most populous major cities, which boast of a relatively low number of people living on the streets. The department reports there are 11,643 homeless people in Seattle/King County, behind Los Angeles City/County (55,188), and New York City (76,501).
Seattle/King County has the third highest number of individuals (8,810), and fifth highest number of homeless families with children (2,833).
Seattle, along with Los Angeles, San Jose, Las Vegas, and New York City account for one-third of all unaccompanied homeless youth in the country.
Though Seattle/King County ranks 34th for the total number of veterans living there, it ranks second for the number of homeless veterans (1,329).
There are an estimated 21,112 people living on the streets in Washington. The total population increased 1.4 percent over 2016 but is 7.7 percent lower when compared to 2010. Twenty-nine in every 10,000 people in the state were experiencing homelessness during the one-night count, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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As The Associated Press previously reported, the nation’s homeless population increased this year for the first time since 2010. That increase was driven by the number of homeless people in West Coast cities.
Cost of living is a driving factor in the number of people living on the streets.
“In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast, the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets. This is not a federal problem-it’s everybody’s problem.”