Development of an Index of Subsidized Housing Availability and its Relationship to Housing Insecurity

Housing insecurity is a known threat to child health understanding predictors of housing insecurity can help inform policies to protect the health of young children in low-income households. This study sheds light on the relationship between housing insecurity and availability of housing that is affordable to low-income households.

We developed a county-level index of availability of subsidized housing needed to meet the demand of low-income households. Our results estimate that if subsidized units are made available to an additional 5% of the eligible population, the odds of overcrowding decrease by 26% and the odds of families making multiple moves decrease by 31%. Both of these are known predictors of poor child health outcomes. Thus, these results suggest that state and federal investments in expanding the stock of subsidized housing could reduce housing insecurity and thereby also improve the health and well-being of young children, including their families’ food security status.