Hidden Homelessness: Unveiling the Invisible Crisis in Our Homes


Homelessness is a pressing issue that affects countless individuals and families across the country. While the media often focuses on the visible homeless population in city streets, there is another side of the problem that remains largely unnoticed – hidden homelessness. This lesser-known crisis is experienced by individuals who may not be sleeping on the streets but are effectively homeless, living in precarious situations in someone else’s home. In this blog, we delve into the concept of hidden homelessness, its underlying causes, and the potential implications it has on our society.

Understanding Hidden Homelessness

Hidden homelessness is a pervasive problem that affects countless young adults, often referred to as millennials and Gen Z-ers. These are individuals who, despite being employed, find themselves unable to afford their own homes and are forced to live with their parents or relatives. While their homelessness may not be visible on the streets, it is very much a reality, and the consequences can be far-reaching.

Causes of Hidden Homelessness

Several factors contribute to the rise of hidden homelessness among the younger generations. One of the primary culprits is the lack of affordable housing options. Skyrocketing home prices, high-interest rates, and higher levels of inflation, along with stagnant wages, have made it exceedingly difficult for first-time homebuyers to enter the market. This situation has created a revolving door into hidden homelessness for future generations.

While hidden homelessness may not be as apparent as visible homelessness, it is no less severe in its impact on individuals and families struggling to find stable housing.

The Increasing Age of First Home Purchases

A significant concern arising from hidden homelessness is the delayed age of first-time home purchases. Young adults who would have traditionally purchased homes in their 20s or early 30s are now finding themselves unable to do so until much later in life. The median age for an individual purchasing their first home rose t0 36! This delay is due to the prolonged period required to save for a substantial down payment and the difficulty in achieving financial independence.

The Cycle of Hidden Homelessness

Hidden homelessness has the potential to create a vicious cycle that perpetuates the problem across generations. Individuals who remain trapped in hidden homelessness may face strained family relationships and severed kinship ties, making it even more challenging to escape homelessness altogether. In some cases, hidden homelessness may escalate into more visible forms of homelessness, further perpetuating the crisis.

Final Thoughts

It is essential to address the root causes of the affordable housing crisis, including zoning restrictions and real estate investor dominance. Creating a more equitable housing market will provide opportunities for young adults to secure stable housing and prevent hidden homelessness from becoming chronic homelessness.

By shedding light on hidden homelessness and taking proactive measures, we can work towards a more equitable and stable housing environment for all.


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