Homelessness in the United States: Causes, consequences, and solutions (ONLINE)
Mary Cunningham, Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Homelessness in the U.S. rose 12 percent in 2023 to its highest reported level since 2007, a product of rising rents and the end of COVID-19 eviction protections. About 653,000 people were experiencing homelessness during the annual point-in-time survey from January 2023. According to the Associated Press, “the total represents an increase of about 70,650 homeless people compared to January 2022. The latest estimate also indicated that people becoming homeless for the first time were behind much of the increase, and it ended a downward trend in family homelessness that began in 2012.” Mary Cunningham, a leading national expert on homelessness, will dig into the causes and consequences of homelessness and then focus on what the U.S. needs to do to address this crisis.
Mary K. Cunningham is Vice President of the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Washington, DC-based Urban Institute. The researchers and policy experts at “Metro” work to diagnose problems and identify solutions on issues including homelessness and access to affordable housing, fair housing and discrimination, community and economic development, land use and zoning, racial segregation, and housing and climate change. She has studied housing and homelessness for more than 20 years and has led several evaluations of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s homelessness and assisted-housing programs, including those related to permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing and homelessness prevention, and housing choice vouchers. From 2005 to 2008, Cunningham launched and directed the Homelessness Research Institute, the research and education arm of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. She also cochaired a research council on homelessness composed of nationally recognized academics and policy researchers. She has authored numerous reports, including A Research Agenda for Ending Homelessness and Homelessness Counts. Cunningham has been cited in the New York Times and the Washington Post, has been a guest on The Weeds podcast, and was recently interviewed on CBS Morning News. She started her career as a caseworker for families with housing vouchers at Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (now Metro Housing|Boston) and has an MPP from Georgetown University.