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Econometer: Is Homelessness Caused More by Drug Addiction or Housing Costs?

Econometer: Is Homelessness Caused More by Drug Addiction or Housing Costs?

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Q: Are mental illness and drug addiction more of a reason for homelessness than housing costs?

Norm Miller, University of San Diego

NO: Housing costs matter more, while both are part of the story. Some 25 percent of homeless have mental illness of some sort, compared to 6 percent for the general population. Thirty-three percent of all Americans have some sort of severe stress and anxiety. It is easy to imagine that living in cars and on streets adds to this. Our inability to provide cheaper housing options is primarily political and regulatory, but the impact on individuals is significant.

 

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