Increase in Region's Homeless Driven by D.C. Spike

A new report says there are nearly 12,000 homeless people in the Washington region - a 3.5 percent increase from last year.

The report released Wednesday by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments says the increase was driven mostly by increases in the District of Columbia. Seven out of nine jurisdictions in the region saw decreases in the number of homeless people, but a 13-percent spike in the District led to the overall increase.

The report says the nation's capital has nearly 900 more homeless people than it did last year. Neighboring Arlington County, Virginia, saw its homeless population decline by 39 percent.

Family homelessness in the region was up 11 percent, and the report blames a lack of affordable housing, rising rents and stagnant wages for the increase.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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