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HUD report – new approach for estimating costs of homeless encampment responses

HUD also released a supplement focused on San Jose’s encampments and costs of their response

From HUD User, April 6, 2021

A new HUD funded study conducted in 2019 assessed homeless encampments and local government responses in four U.S. cities: San Jose, Chicago, Tacoma, and Houston.

“Across the four cities, the greatest expenditures related to encampment-related activity were for outreach, while efforts related to cleaning, clearance, and shelter/housing placement varied considerably based on local priorities and approaches.

The authors caution: “This study was not designed to measure the relative effectiveness of approaches to encampments. However, these findings demonstrate that permanent resolution of any given encampment (resolving homelessness for the people in the encampment and preventing formation of a new encampment at that site) requires substantial investment, both in services and housing/shelter options, but that mitigation, management, and removal efforts in isolation all come with considerable costs.

“Findings from this study – the report on costs, individual site summary reports, and the literature review – are intended to help federal, state, and local policymakers and practitioners understand the nature of encampments, strategies for responding to encampments, and the costs associated with those approaches.”

Read the report overview and access it here.

A supplementary report focused on San Jose includes: an overview of encampments in San Jose, implementation partners involved in encampment, San Jose’s encampment response, and encampment costs in San Jose. Access it here.

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