Family4 - - Reasons for homelessness o 1. Unable to Pay...

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- Reasons for homelessness o 1. Unable to Pay Rent Often times a homeless person works one or two minimum wage jobs full time and still doesn’t make enough money to pay rent. A Fact Sheet put out by the National Coalition reports: “Declining wages, in turn, have put housing out of reach for many workers: in every state, more than the minimum wage is required to afford a one- or two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent.1 A recent U.S. Conference of Mayors report stated that in every state more than the minimum- wage is required to afford a one or two-bedroom apartment at 30% of his or her income, which is the federal definition of affordable housing. In 2001, five million rental households had “worst case housing needs,” which means that they paid more than half their incomes for rent, living in severely substandard housing, or both (Children’s Defense Fund, 2005). The primary source of income for 80% of these households was earnings from jobs” (U.S. Housing and Urban Development, 2001). o 2. Mental Illness Some homeless people have mental illnesses or disabilities, and as a result struggle with finding housing. According to a study by the US Conference of Mayors in 2005, approximately 16% of the homeless population suffers from a mental illness. A report put out by the National Coalition for the Homeless says that in 2006 the amount of money it cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment was $715 a month, which is 113.1% of a person on Supplemental Security Income. In 1999, in over 125 housing markets throughout the country, the cost of a one bedroom apartment was more than a person’s total monthly SSI income. In 2006, the national average rent for a studio apartment became higher than the income of a person who relies solely on SSI income. Only 9% of people not in mental hospitals or facilities receiving SSI have housing assistance. o 3. Domestic Violence Another major cause of homelessness is domestic violence. Battered women who live in poverty are often forced to choose between abusive relationships and homelessness. In a study of 777 homeless parents (the majority of whom were mothers) in ten U.S. cities, 22% said they had left their last place of residence
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2011 for the course HDFS 2001 taught by Professor Stewart during the Spring '10 term at University of Florida.

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Family4 - - Reasons for homelessness o 1. Unable to Pay...

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