Homelessness has steadily decreased over the last year despite rising housing prices, inflation and discrimination among landlords, according to officials during a Dallas Area Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness Local Government Corporation Board meeting Oct. 6.

The board has implemented new initiatives, meeting benchmarks of placing homeless individuals into housing and closing down a total of nine encampments, officials said during the meeting.

“We are doing it in a much tougher economy than we anticipated,” said Christine Crossly, director of the Dallas Office of Homeless Solutions.

Officials said inflation and a 17% rise in rental costs year over year have caused instability for low-income households, who also face discrimination among landlords when looking for housing options. Other groups facing discrimination include Black residents and previously incarcerated individuals, according to Joli Robinson, president and CEO of Housing Forward, formerly known as the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance.

“The picture of homelessness is not static,” Robinson said. “People–individuals and families–are brushing up against the homeless response system daily.”

Housing Forward led the discussion during most of the meeting, which was attended by 10 of the 14 Dallas City Council members.

Data shared during the meeting showed the Dallas-area partnership has steadily been helping individuals experiencing homelessness find housing over the past year.

The Dallas Real Time Rapid Rehousing initiative found housing for 1,220 individuals. The initiative launched in June 2021 through the collaboration of the Dallas-area partnership.

Officials said the number of homeless people in Dallas and Collin counties has decreased from 4,410 individuals to 3,190 since the city collected its last set of data during a 10-day point-in-time homeless count in February. The next count is scheduled for 2023.