WASHINGTON: The US administration has announced a plan to reduce homelessness 25 per cent by 2025.
The plan, titled 'All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness', is the "most ambitious effort by any administration to prevent people from becoming homeless, address inequities that disproportionately impact underserved communities, including people of color and other marginalized groups, and help cities and states reduce unsheltered homelessness", the White House said in a statement on Monday.
President Joe Biden has called on state and local governments to set their own goals for 2025 and to use the plan as a blueprint for addressing homelessness in their communities.
"My plan offers a roadmap for not only getting people into housing but also ensuring that they have access to the support, services, and income that allow them to thrive," Biden was quoted as saying in the statement.
"It is a plan that is grounded in the best evidence and aims to improve equity and strengthen collaboration at all levels. Some are in emergency shelters...
"Others live on our streets, exposed to the threats of violence, adverse weather, disease, and so many other dangers exacerbated by homelessness," he added
Both the Covid-19 pandemic and the reckoning that the US has faced on issues of racial justice, Biden underlined, "have also exposed inequities that have been allowed to fester for far too long".
New data released on Monday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) revealed that 582,462 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2022 -- a slight .3 per cent increase since 2020.
Los Angeles and New York -- the two most populous US cities -- reportedly have the largest homeless populations.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, on her first day in office earlier this month, declared a state of emergency over homelessness.