Inadequate, crowded, or too costly housing can pose serious problems to children's physical, psychological, and material well-being.75, 76 Housing cost burdens, especially at high levels, are a risk factor for negative outcomes for children, including homelessness, overcrowding, poor nutrition, frequent moving, and lack of supervision while parents are at work.77 The percentage of households with children that report that they are living in physically inadequate,78 crowded, or costly housing provides insight into how commonly children's well-being may be affected by their family's housing.
NOTE: Data are available for 1978, 1983, 1989, and biennially since 1993. All data are weighted using the decennial Census that preceded the date of their collection.
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development, American Housing Survey. Tabulated by Department of Housing and Urban Development.
75 Breysse, P., Farr, N., Galke, W., Lanphear, B., Morley, R., and Bergofsky, L. (2004). The relationship between housing and health: Children at risk. Environmental Health Perspectives, 112 (15), 1583–1588.
76 Krieger, J., and Higgins, D.L. (2002). Housing and health: Time again for public health action. American Journal of Public Health, 92 (5), 758–68.
77 Bridge, C., Flatau, P., Whelan, S., Wood, G., and Yates, J. (2003). Housing assistance and non-shelter outcomes. Sydney, AU: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
78 Physically inadequate units are defined as those with moderate or severe physical problems. Common types of problems include lack of complete plumbing for exclusive use, unvented room heaters as the primary heating equipment, and multiple upkeep problems such as water leakage, open cracks or holes, broken plaster, or signs of rats. See definition in Appendix A of the American Housing Survey. summary volume, American Housing Survey. for the United States: 2007. (2008). Current Housing Reports, Series H150, U.S. Census Bureau.
79 Paying 30 percent or more of income for housing may leave insufficient resources for other basic needs. See Panel on Poverty and Family Assistance, National Research Council. (1995). Measuring poverty: A new approach. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/povmeas/toc.html.
80 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers renter households to have "priority" housing problems if they have eligible incomes for, but do not receive, rental assistance, and they report either severe housing cost burdens or severe physical problems with their housing units. Because of questionnaire changes, data after 1997 on assisted families, priority problems, and severe physical problems are not comparable to earlier data.
81 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines "very-low-income renters" as renter households with incomes at or below half the median family income, adjusted for family size, within their geographic area.
82 The estimates are based on Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data submitted by a nationally representative sample of communities, as well as volunteer Continuums of Care nationwide. The volunteer Continuums, unlike sample sites, represent only themselves in the national estimates, meaning that their data are not weighted to represent other communities. Client-level data in HMIS systems enable unduplicated counts across Continuum service providers of persons who used an emergency shelter or transitional housing program during a 12-month reporting period (October– September). Raw counts from each community are adjusted at the local level to account for programs that do not participate in HMIS. In total, the 2009 national estimates are based on data from 334 communities and represent over 570,000 personrecords. See U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development. (2010). Annual homeless assessment report. Washington, DC: Author.
83 The estimate is based on a count of persons who, during a single night in January, were either using an emergency shelter or transitional housing services, or were on the street or other place not intended for human habitation. Continuum of Care service providers are required to conduct such counts as a condition of funding. The estimate has the limitation of relying on several assumptions about the comparability of sheltered and unsheltered populations and families. See U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development. (2010). Annual homeless assessment report. Washington, DC: Author.