June 29, 2023
Utah Office of Homeless Services Releases Annual Data Report
SALT LAKE CITY (June 29, 2023) — The Utah Office of Homeless Services has released the state's 2023 Annual Report on Homelessness. The report incorporates various data sources, including the Federal Fiscal Year 2022 (FFY22) System Performance Measures, 2023 Housing Inventory Count, and 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) count, to offer a comprehensive overview of homelessness in Utah.
"We are making significant progress in increasing deeply affordable housing in Utah, which is a much-needed element in addressing homelessness," said Wayne Niederhauser, State of Utah Homelessness Coordinator. "Thanks to the $55 million in deeply affordable housing grants from the Utah Legislature, we have successfully funded 17 projects, which will result in the creation of more than 1,100 income-restricted affordable units."
"Housing instability is a pressing issue that often leads to homelessness and a rising demand for crisis response services," stated Tricia Davis, Assistant Director of the Office of Homeless Services. "With the conclusion of pandemic-era funding resources and the increase in living costs, service providers are facing an increased demand for their services, as highlighted in the 2023 Annual Data Report."
The report tracks the statewide goals established in “The State of Utah Strategic Plan on Homelessness,” aiming to reduce homelessness in Utah making it rare, brief, and non-recurring.
Making Homelessness Rare
In FFY 2022, the number of Utahns experiencing homelessness for the first time reached 8,637, marking an increase of 821 individuals compared to FFY 2021. This 10% rise indicates a slower growth rate compared to the preceding year's 14% increase, aligning with the national trend of rising homelessness since 2017. Despite the increase, Utah's homelessness rate remains below the national average, with approximately 11 individuals experiencing homelessness per 10,000 people, compared to the national rate of 18 per 10,000 people.
Making Homelessness Brief
During FFY 2022, the average shelter stay decreased by three days to approximately 65 days compared to FFY 2021. Around 57% of individuals stayed in shelters for 30 days or less, while only 6% remained for nine months or longer.
Making Homelessness Non-Recurring
The system has demonstrated remarkable success in helping the most vulnerable individuals maintain housing stability. In FFY 2022, 93% of individuals enrolled in permanent housing with support stayed housed. This level of success has been consistently maintained since FFY2018. Although the percentage of individuals returning to homelessness within 24 months of obtaining permanent housing slightly increased from 29% in FFY 2021 to just over 30%, it still reflects a decline from approximately 34% in FFY 2018, indicating progress in supporting long-term housing stability.
The 2023 Point-in-Time count, conducted as a statewide one-night count, revealed a 3.7% increase in the number of individuals experiencing homelessness compared to the previous year (from 3,556 in 2022 to 3,687 in 2023).
The complete report is available at:https://jobs.utah.gov/homelessness/homelessnessreport.pdf
About The Utah Office of Homeless Services: The Utah Office of Homeless Services strives to work together with communities to make homelessness in Utah rare, brief and non-recurring by providing statewide support of project services, interventions and system performance measures and reporting.
About the Point-in-Time Count: The Point-in-Time count is a physical count of all homeless persons who are living in emergency shelters, transitional housing and on the streets on a single night, mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For 2023, the count was carried out on January 25. Many factors influence the results of any given PIT, including weather, organized volunteer efforts, and CoC planning. Within that context, the PIT is a valuable tool in calculating a community’s need for homeless services on any given night. It is also the primary tool available for measuring the number of individuals experiencing homelessness who are not enrolled in homeless service projects in UHMIS.