After several years of declining numbers, the homeless population in the U.S. increased slightly for the second year in a row.
According to a new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly 553,000 people experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018. That point-in-time estimate is a 0.3 percent increase from the previous year.
Now, that's not a big jump. But as The Wall Street Journal points out, it's not a good sign, considering unemployment is at its lowest point in decades and the economy is doing well.
So why is homelessness slowly increasing? One expert told the Journal a "critical" lack of affordable rental housing across the U.S. has been a leading factor since the homeless crisis began decades ago.
The report comes just days after new research found that rent increases in expensive cities like New York, Los Angeles and Seattle can make the homelessness rate go up faster.