10.5 million households face limited access to adequate food HUD survey finds

The number of occupied households facing limited access to adequate food reached 10.5 million in the past month, roughy 8.9 percent nationwide, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said in a press release.

According to HUD’s 2015 American Housing Survey, released on December 18, the households with financial limitations were those with less access to adequate food.

The report is annual collaboration between the Census Bureau and HUD. This year the organizations teamed up with the U. S. Department of Agriculture for the first time in its 42 year history.

“Working closely with experts at the Department of Agriculture (USDA), we added food insecurity to this survey to better understand the balance many lower income households face between the cost and quality of their housing and putting food on the table,” Katherine O’ Reagan, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, said in a statement.

This years survey in partnership with the USDA expanded the survey to include food security status. This research showed that 5 percent of homeowners and 15 percent of renters were food insecure, meaning they had very low food security.

The survey included the questions to determine whether the dietary quality or food consumption per household was reduced or disrupted because the household lacked money for food any time during the last month. One adult respondent per household was asked questions about  behaviors that may indicate food insecurity like not having enough food in the home at any one time, or having too little money for food,

The survey results showed that a disproportionate number of those affected by food insecurity are people of color ;16.9 percent of black-householders; 19.5 percent of American-Indian; Alaska-Native householders and 21.4 percent of Pacific-slander householders were food insecure. These rates were more than twice as high-white households at 7.5 percent.

In addition, about 16.6 percent of households with a person with a disability were food insecure, as opposed to 6.9 percent of households without a person with a disability.

The Census Bureau collects the American Housing Survey every other year. It covers housing characteristics, housing costs and home improvement. The 2015 survey included food insecurity and three other topics: health and safety of homes, use of housing counseling, and importance of arts and culture.

Several new questions also explored the opinions of Americans on petty and major crime, satisfaction with schools, satisfaction with public transportation and risk for flooding or disasters.

This years federal collaboration surveyed 118,290,000 occupied units.


Robert Sondak is a vendor and a writer for Spare Change News.

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