This research pairs point-in-time counts of adult homelessness prepared between 2015 and 2019 by 315 local housing assistance providers with data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources to quantify the impacts of regulatory and physical housing supply constraints on adult homelessness rates. The results from several random effects regression models suggest that a one standard deviation increase in the restrictiveness of local land use regulations directly increases the adult homelessness rate by between 9 and 12%, depending on the type of constraint. These estimated effects are uniformly smaller in magnitude than those which assume that constraints on housing supply influence homelessness indirectly through increased rents. These findings point to a need for greater coordination between land use planners and homeless assistance providers.
Homelessness and housing supply
Journal of Urban Affairs