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    UNITY


    Causes of Homelessness - 2011

    Why People Become Homeless…

    Numerous national, state and local reports repeatedly indicate that there is not one single cause that leads to homelessness.  However, without the financial ability to make ends meet and afford an apartment or home, individuals and families become homeless.

     

    Other factors that contribute to homelessness include:

    Loss of Job

    Domestic Violence

    High Housing / Rental Costs

    Disability - Physical/Mental

    Death of a Family Member

    Low Paying Job

    Natural Disasters (fires, storms)

    Catastrophic Illness

    Family Break Up

    Lack of Transportation (car or public system)

    Family Crisis (loss of hours; car break down)

    Lack of Affordable Health Care

    In Hillsborough County, during the 2011 homeless count, homeless people (when given a list of options) identified the following reasons for their homelessness:

    Employment/Financial Reasons 49.38%                                                                                       
    Family Problems 12.72%
    Medical/Disability Problems   7.91%
    Housing Issues   7.77%
    Drugs/Alcohol   6.98%
    Forced to Relocate   6.93%
    Jail/Prison/Hospital   1.77%
    Recent Immigration   0.31%
    Other   6.23%

    (2011 Homeless Count)

     

    Why Affordable Housing is the Root...

    When a household is using more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs, they frequently have to make difficult decisions about what to pay - housing, utilities, food, childcare, health care, education, transportation.  With limited resoureces, one emergency or unplanned situation can begin a downward spiral to homelessness.

     

    What's Affordable?

    When a household spends more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs, their housing is considered unaffordable and the household could be at risk of becoming homeless. In the table below, you can see how the wage a household needs to afford an apartment based its size with fair market rents in Hillsborough County (from the National Low Income Housing Coalition's 2010 Out of Reach report).

     

    Apt. Size

    Fair Market Rent

     Wage Needed

    0 Bedroom

    $ 714

    $ 13.73 an hour

    1 Bedroom

    $ 793

    $ 15.25 an hour

    2 bedroom

    $ 959

    $ 18.44 an hour

    3 bedroom

    $ 1,215

    $ 23.37 an hour

    4 bedroom

    $ 1,467

    $ 28.21 an hour

     *A person whose sole income is SSI receives $674 a month and can afford no more than $202 a month for rent.

    MAIN: 813-223-6115 | FAX: 813-223-6178 | P.O. BOX 360181, TAMPA, FL, 33673-0181 | info@homelessofhc.org