Food insecurity and housing affordability among low-income families: Does housing assistance reduce food insecurity?

Bo Kyong Seo, Gum Ryeong Park

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Given the competing needs for food and housing under the limited household income among poor families, there is lack of research on the associations between housing affordability and food insecurity. The current study examines how housing cost burden affects food insecurity of low-income families and whether decreased housing cost enhances food security. Design: Longitudinal data from the Korean Welfare Panel Study, of which the final sample for the analysis consisted of 31 304 household-level observations from 5466 households based on twelve waves (2007-2018). Setting: South Korea. Participants: Low-income households in the lowest 40 % of household income distribution. Results: 19·3 % had food insecurity, and housing cost burden was associated with food insecurity. While in-kind housing assistance and in-cash assistance from all sources were likely to reduce food insecurity partially through influencing housing cost burden, in-cash housing assistance was associated with higher likelihood of food insecurity. Conclusions: Housing cost burden potentially limits food access among poor families, and housing assistance, particularly public housing and sufficient in-cash assistance, is conducive to alleviating food insecurity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4339-4345
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number13
Early online date5 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Food insecurity
  • Housing affordability
  • Housing assistance
  • Low-income households

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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