New research shines a light on the predominant cause of homelessness - high costs of living, especially housing. Looking across the US, states with more affordable housing had lower rates of homelessness. But it's not just housing - transportation, food, and healthcare costs were also linked. Unemployment, problematic drinking, and even opioid prescription rates influenced homelessness, too. This highlights the need for multifaceted solutions. Making housing more affordable is crucial. But also addressing income, transportation access, problematic substance use, and healthcare costs will maximize impact. With creative, collaborative policy solutions rooted in these evidence-based insights, progress is possible against this complex public health challenge.
Citation: Heston TF. The Cost of Living Index as a Primary Driver of Homelessness in the United States: A Cross-State Analysis. Cureus. 2023;15(10):e46975. Published 2023 Oct 13. doi:10.7759/cureus.46975