Report predicts aging homeless population will nearly triple by 2030

The population of individuals who are homeless and elderly is expected to nearly triple over the next decade, according to a new study released by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of California Los Angeles, New York University, and Boston University.

Illustration of range of disabilities

Experts say the projected upturn of the aging homeless population—concentrated among those born between 1955­ and 1966—will also lead to a surge of cost increases associated with health care and shelter needs.

The multi-site study includes Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles County, but is likely indicative of growth that is expected to take place across the country, according to homelessness expert Dennis Culhane, The Dana and Andrew Stone Professor of Social Policy at the School of Social Policy & Practice.

More specifically, the national population of people 65 or older experiencing homelessness is estimated to grow from 40,000 to 106,000 by 2030. The predicted spike is based on 30 years of existing census data.

“Caring for this elderly group in homelessness is going to cost about $5 billion a year—that’s just for their health care and shelter, not to house them,” said Culhane.

Read more at the School of Social Policy & Practice.