- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced a new program to help homeless families find permanent housing.

Bowser, a Democrat, said Thursday that the District will assemble a team of leasing specialists, inspectors and social service workers to quickly connect homeless families to housing opportunities in the private market. She vowed to end family homelessness in the District by 2018, and all homelessness in the city by 2025.

The number of homeless people has increased in recent years as affordable housing has dwindled.

People in the District have a right to shelter when temperatures are below freezing. The city houses families on the campus of a former hospital or in hotel rooms.

Bowser pledged a new approach to homelessness during last year’s campaign and was critical of her predecessor’s policies.

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