The U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development came to Columbus to announce new money to combat homelessness across the country – the day after a new report showed a slight increase in Ohio’s homeless population.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson said $2.163 billion will be awarded to some 6,500 programs nationwide serving the homeless. That includes 280 in Ohio, which is fourth in the nation in this kind of funding.
Carson said homelessness caused a lack of affordable housing could be solved with 3D building technology and with tiny houses.
“We have to remove some of the barriers to be able to utilize them. 'NIMBY'ism is a big problem in our country – ‘not in my back yard’, and I understand it," Carson said.
Carson said this funding is an overall increase, and there’s more to come – but he says money won’t solve the addiction, mental illness and runaway housing costs that lead to homelessness.
A report issued by HUD this week showed Ohio's homeless population increased .9% in 2019, part of a 3% increase across the country. But Ohio's homeless population has fallen more than 17% since 2010. More than 3,300 of the people counted as homeless in Ohio were people in families with children.
The report is based on counts of the nation's homeless population on one day in January 2019.