Study Finds Severely Housing Cost-Burdened Households Experience Greater Food Insecurity, More Child Poverty, and Worse Health Outcomes

A study, the Key Findings Report: 2019 County Health Rankings, by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R), shows that severe housing cost burdens, spending 50% or more of incomes for rent and utilities, significantly impacts an array of outcomes. The study finds significant disparities between counties with the highest and lowest housing cost burdens with respect to their rates of child poverty, food insecurity, and fair/poor health. Across all counties, every 10% increase in the share of households severely cost-burdened is linked to 86,000 more people who are food insecure, 29,000 more children in poverty, and 84,000 more people in fair or poor health. 

Health Factors and Outcomes in Top and Bottom Performing Counties for Severe Housing Cost Burden

According to the study, more segregated counties have higher rates of severe housing cost burdens for everyone, but especially for black households. Across and within counties, severe housing cost burdens affect black households more than white households. Back households experience higher rates of child poverty, poorer birth outcomes, higher rates of premature death, and lower high school graduation rates than do white households

The study further documents that housing is inextricably linked with outcomes in other sectors, which is why multi-sector advocates are coming together through the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign. Check out the website to learn more about how housing impacts health, education, economic mobility, and more.  

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The Key Studies Report: 2019 County Health Rankings is at: