FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Media Contact: Dorcas Jones
Ohio's Homeless Numbers Increasing Among Children and Older Adults, Report Says
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) released its second report on homelessness, which highlights the growing numbers of Ohioans accessing homelessness services, in particular young children and aging adults.
According to the report, "Revisiting the Silent Crisis", more than 70,000 Ohioans received homelessness services in 2017, an increase of 20 percent over five years. While nearly 30 percent of people using services were younger than 18, the most common among them were infants who had not yet reached their first birthday. That number, 2,943, grew by 53 percent from 2012 to 2017.
The number of adults older than 50 also increased to 12,330, from about 9,200 in 2012.
"This data continues to confirm that affordable housing is a critical need in our state," said Holly Holtzen, Acting Executive Director of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. "OHFA's work providing more affordable housing for Ohioans helps to meet that need."
The report uses data from the Ohio Human Services Data Warehouse (OHSDW), providing a more comprehensive picture of homelessness and important context around the Point in Time (PIT) count issued this week by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The 2018 PIT count identified 10,249 homeless in Ohio on one night, an increase of 1.5 percent from 2017.
The increasing numbers of people experiencing housing instability are related to broader patterns of housing and economic instability in Ohio. The FY2019 Ohio Housing Needs Assessment reported that in 2017 there were only 42 available and affordable rental units per 100 extremely low-income renter households in Ohio.
The OHSDW is a partnership between Ohio's nine Continuums of Care, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS), and Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA). OHSDW aggregates de-identified data from Ohio's CoCs. This report is an update to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency's report Confronting Homelessness: Examining the Scope of Ohio's Silent Crisis and Its Local Solutions.
The full report is available on the OHFA website.