Raw Data: Homelessness in Los Angeles

Skid row in downtown Los Angeles.Kevin Drum

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I was fiddling around with some numbers about homelessness in Los Angeles and came up with this. Note that the housing index has been adjusted for inflation:

There are reasons to be cautious about interpreting this. The homeless numbers are from HUD’s Point-In-Time program, which is known to be of mediocre accuracy. Even worse, there’s also some evidence that its methodology has changed over the years, which makes annual comparisons a problem. On the housing side, the Case-Shiller index is the average for houses. It doesn’t necessarily say much about either the availability or price of cheap rental stock.

All that said, it’s a pretty remarkable correlation, isn’t it? So I decided to try a few other cities:

None of them fit as nicely as the Los Angeles chart, but they definitely suggest a correlation between housing prices and homelessness. I assume this is no surprise to anyone, but it’s kind of interesting to see it set out like this.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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