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City Council recognizes importance of Annual Homeless Census

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City Council

This year will mark the ​41st Homeless Census, an annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count of individuals and families staying in emergency shelter, transitional housing, or domestic violence shelter programs.

While the PIT count is a snapshot of homelessness on one night in Boston, it provides critical information about who is housing unstable​. Relative to the 2019 Census, t​he 2020 Census showed an 11.6% increase in single adults on the street, 7.5% increase in single adults in transitional housing, and 14.7% decrease in single adults in emergency shelter. The 2020 Census also showed an 8.3% increase in the number of families in emergency housing, and a 20% increase in transitional housing. The total number of homeless individuals in a family unit (4,021) is almost double the number of single adults (2,115).

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had severe economic impacts, especially for our most economically vulnerable residents. The Commonwealth’s Eviction Moratorium and the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium in 2020 may have some impact on the 2021 Census.

This week a resolution was adopted, recognizing the critical importance of the Census results. The Council redoubles its commitment to further expanding housing stability resources, fostering the development of affordable housing, and ending homelessness across the City and Commonwealth.