(Ohio) – First time in a long time, the number of homeless Ohioans rose in 2018.
A study conducted by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) indicates children are one of the fastest growing homeless populations in Ohio. 2017 data showed that minors made up nearly 30 percent of people receiving homeless services. Additionally, the OHFA noted a 53% increase since 2012 and the number of people using homeless service agencies jumped 20% from 2012.
More than 10,200 homeless Ohioans have been reported for this year, up 1.5 percent from 2017 according to data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, OHFA reported a total 70,123 people as homeless in the Buckeye state last year.
The numbers from HUD are based on the Point-in-Time count, which estimates the number of homeless people on a single night in January. OHFA’s study includes people who used shelters, supportive housing, and other homeless services throughout the year.
Officials note that nearly 400,000 Ohio households are spending over half their income on rent. The coalition is hopeful the incoming administration and legislature will the expand Ohio Housing Trust Fund in 2019 to help with services and programs.