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KPBS Midday Edition

New book highlights link between homelessness, lack of affordable housing

The remnants of an encampment located in Mission Valley near the San Diego River, April 26, 2017.
Erik Anderson
/
KPBS
The remnants of an encampment located in Mission Valley near the San Diego River, April 26, 2017.

Drug addiction, mental illness or poverty are often referred to as root causes of homelessness.

A new book, however, points to the affordability of housing.

Homelessness is a Housing Problem,” co-written by data scientist Clayton Page Aldern and University of Washington professor of real estate Gregg Colburn, analyzes many aspects of the country’s growing unhoused population.

As the title suggests, the authors found a lack of affordable housing is often the most significant factor that leads to homelessness.

"Housing is a bedrock aspect of human life, and without housing every other thing that we think about is undermined. Whether it's educational outcomes, health outcomes, employment outcomes — without housing it's very hard to get good outcomes in any of those," said co-author Colburn.

Colburn joined Midday Edition on Monday with more on the new book.