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Fewer homeless individuals in D.C. will need to be housed in hotels this winter

Thanks to improvements in the city’s homeless services system

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In Washington, D.C., from 2016 to 2017, there was an 11 percent decrease in homelessness and a 22 percent decline in the number of homeless families. With this decrease, the D.C. government has stated that they hope to eventually end their need for motels and hotels for housing those who are homeless.

In an interview with WAMU, Laura Zeilinger, the director of the D.C. Department on Human Services, said that she hopes for Washington, D.C., to have enough room at shelters in two years in order to cease housing homeless individuals in hotels.

WAMU further reported that D.C. anticipates only placing more than 600 homeless families in hotels during January 2018 and February 2018 in comparison to a year earlier when over 900 families were placed in hotels during those months.

When it comes to the price that comes with housing homeless individuals in hotels, it has cost over $30 million for the winter in 2015, $28 million for the winter in 2016, and an expected $23.5 million for this upcoming winter.

This holiday season, Mayor Muriel Bowser also plans on placing 400 homeless households into permanent housing by incentivizing landlords with a special fund.

Already, construction has started on homeless shelters in Wards 4, 7, and 8. There are currently plans for homeless shelters in Wards 3, 5, and 6, but there have been delays.

According to WAMU, city officials hope to close D.C. General by 2020.

D.C. Expects Fewer Homeless Families It Houses In Motels Over The Winter [WAMU]