Estimating the Need

This guide is meant to help communities that want or need to do three different but
related things:

  • Calculate an expected number of homeless people over a year’s time when you only have data from a point-in-time count (PITC);
  • Use both PIT information and projections to annual levels of homelessness to figure out how many chronically homeless people you are likely to have, now and in the future; and
  • Plan and develop appropriate levels of permanent supportive housing.


Users of this guide could be conveners of Continuums of Care that need to meet HUD’s requirements for local estimates of homeless populations and estimates of unmet need.

They could also be planners or interagency councils in cities, counties, or whole states
that are developing plans to end homelessness, often with a focus on chronic
homelessness, and need to know how much affordable and supportive housing is
“enough” to do the job.

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