According to a survey conducted by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development the population of homeless people in New York City and Los Angeles has increased by 13% and 27% respectively over the one-year period between January 2012 and January 2013.
Federal statistics from the annual survey of over 3,000 cities and counties show the number of people living in emergency shelters and on streets in a number of major US cities, including New York and Los Angeles, has grown since January 2012.
Field workers conducting the annual survey have found people living in shelters, transitional housing, and other locations like cars and abandoned buildings. The data showed that almost a quarter of all homeless people in the US are under the age of 18.
Federal officials have said increases in the number of homeless Americans in major cities were driven by a jump in the number of households who could not afford to pay their rent any longer. Meanwhile, there has been a 43% increase since 2007 in the number of very poor renters, people who pay more than half of their income in rent.
A professor of social policy at the University of Pennsylvania, Dennis P. Culhane, who helped direct the research in the federal report on homelessness, says the problem of homelessness in the US is expected to get worse.