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Homelessness skyrockets in D.C.

Saturday - 4/28/2012, 11:32am  ET

WASHINGTON - Homelessness is skyrocketing in D.C.

The number of families living in the city's shelters has increased by about 50 percent since this time last year.

"This is a very difficult problem that every city in America right now is experiencing," Mayor Vincent Gray tells WTOP's 'Ask the Mayor.' "So much of this is a function of the economy."

Gray said the District is working to increase affordable housing and has brought on 1,100 new housing units since last year, with another 1,100 planned.

"We have put additional money into the local rent supplement program, which really helps people to subsidize the rent when they may not be able to afford where they are living," he said.

There are 21 homeless for every 10,000 people across the nation.

WTOP's Veronica Robinson contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)