BUFFALO, N.Y. — The rate of homelessness in Western New York has increased three percent in the past year, according to a new report from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

However, advocates for the Homeless Alliance of Western New York say those numbers may be a bit skewed by the inclusion of Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties.

Without those counties, the rate has increased by closer to 20 percent over the past three years. 

The group says increasing rent prices, coupled with lower wages, are to blame.

They're working locally to create more affordable housing while advocating for change at the state level.

Over the last few years, the number of chronically homeless has dropped dramatically, to just five people.