This article estimates the impact of local housing and labor market conditions on area homelessness using the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD’s) annual point-in-time counts of homelessness from 2007 to 2014. In cross-sectional models, the median rent, the share of households in rental housing, and the poverty rate have strong positive impacts on homelessness. Once area-fixed effects are included, only the median rent remains positive and significant. However, fixed-effect models find a positive relationship between poverty and homelessness in communities that maintain right-to-shelter policies, suggesting constraints in shelter bed supply may limit responses of homelessness to changes in economic conditions.
- labor market
- low-income housing