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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli Analysis Finds Sharp Decline in Homeless Veterans in New York

November 8, 2023

New York state made substantial progress in reducing homelessness for veterans between 2010 and 2022 with the number of homeless veterans declining 83% (from 5,857 to 990), the largest percentage decline in the nation, according to an analysis by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The share of homeless adults that are veterans was reduced from 9% in 2010 to just 1% in 2022.

“Veterans answered the call to serve our nation and defend our country’s ideals, and we owe them our gratitude and support,” DiNapoli said. “With federal support, New York is leading the way in reducing homelessness for our veterans. Continued attention to housing and other issues affecting our veterans is a necessary expression of our appreciation and a recognition of our duty to help these brave men and women.”

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there were 665,257 veterans living in New York in 2021, representing 4.2% of the state’s population.

Robust Federal Support Helps Lower Number of Homeless Vets

The most significant reduction in New York occurred between 2011 and 2016 when the number of homeless veterans declined by 78% (from 5,765 to 1,248). The reductions have been driven by policy and funding at the federal level that began in 2010 with release of the first Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. Federal funding for programs addressing Veterans’ homelessness through the Veterans' Administration in 2009 totaled $376 million and has grown steadily since then. By 2022, federal funding had increased 635% to $2.7 billion.

Homeless Veterans in New York

New York City Leads the Way

The greatest progress has been made in New York City. From 2011 to 2022, the total number of homeless veterans in the city was reduced by 90%, from 4,677 to 482 individuals. In 2011, New York City accounted for 81% of all homeless veterans in the state. By 2022, New York City’s share of homeless veterans was reduced to 49%. New York City’s reductions in veteran homelessness accounts for 96% of the total statewide reduction between 2011 and 2022.

The success of the federally-funded programs coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs led the federal government to declare in 2015 that the city had effectively ended chronic homelessness (lasting longer than a year or repeated intermittent homelessness over a longer period) among veterans.

DiNapoli’s analysis also found:

  • Black veterans persistently represent a disproportionate share of those experiencing homelessness. In 2022, Black or African Americans accounted for 53% of homeless veterans in the state, but only 11.1% of the overall veteran population.
  • In New York, the largest shares of veterans are white males, and aged 65 or older who served during the Vietnam era.
  • New York City is home to the largest population of veterans in the state (144,558), followed by Suffolk County (56,257). As a percentage of a county’s population, the highest share is in Jefferson County, with 13%.

Reductions in Homelessness Among New York’s Veterans