Homeowner versus non-homeowner differences in household food insecurity in Canada
- 615 Downloads
The risk of food insecurity, lack of access to adequate food because of financial constraints, is low for homeowners relative to renters in Canada; yet it is unclear if this is due to the characteristics of who owns versus who rents, or a direct protective effect of homeownership over renting. We examined this question by looking at the correlates of food insecurity among households by homeownership status. We used a population-based sample, the 2009–2010 Canadian Community Health Survey, in which both housing tenure and food insecurity were measured. A decomposition approach allowed us to examine the difference in prevalence of food insecurity between non-homeowner and homeowner households that was not accounted for by household-level characteristics such as income or contextual factors. As expected, household food insecurity was much lower among homeowner households (3.3 %) than non-homeowner households (17.9 %). Household and contextual characteristics accounted for 71 % of the overall difference in the odds of being food insecure, leaving 29 % of the gap attributable to the protective impact of homeownership. Closing this gap could include the introduction of institutional policies that mirror the protection from home equity and governmental policy supports afforded to homeownership.
KeywordsFood insecurity Housing Homeownership Rental Decomposition statistics Canada
This study was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research Operating Grant MOP-89731 and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Chair in Gender and Health. The study was approved by the University of Calgary/Alberta Health Services (Calgary Zone) Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board. We thank Daniel J. Dutton for his assistance with the decomposition statistics.
Complicance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
- Bartfeld, J., & Dunifon, R. (2005). State-level predictors of food insecurity and hunger among households with children. Contractor and Cooperator Report No. 13 [online]. Retrieved April 4, 2015, from http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/CCR13/ccr13.pdf.
- Bickel, G., Nord, M., Price, C., Hamilton, W. L. & Cook, J. T. (2000). Guide to Measuring Household Food Security, Revised 2000. USDA, Food and Nutrition Service. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://www.fns.usda.gov/guide-measuring-household-food-security-revised-2000.
- Burke, T., & Ralston, L. (2003). Analysis of expenditure patterns and levels of household indebtedness of public and private rental households, 1975 to 1999. Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.Google Scholar
- Che, J., & Chen, J. (2001). Food insecurity in Canadian households. Health Reports, 12, 11–22.Google Scholar
- Clayton, F. A. (2010). Government subsidies to homeowners versus renters in Ontario and Canada. Report prepared for federation of rental housing providers of Ontario and Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations, August. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://www.frpo.org/documents/FRPO%20Government%20Subsidies%20Report.pdf.
- Coleman-Jensen, A., Gregory, C. & Singh, A. (2014). Household food security in the United States, 2014. Economic Research Report No. (ERR-173). (Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service). Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err173.aspx.
- Conroy, S. J., & Sandy, J. (2012). Using Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition to estimate the coastal premium for residential housing prices in San Diego County. Academy of Economics and Finance Journal, 3, 45–52.Google Scholar
- DeSilva, S., & Elmelech, Y. (2009). Housing inequality in the United States: A decomposition analysis of racial and ethnic disparities in homeownership. Bard College, Working Paper No. 565, May. Retrieved April 2, 2015, from http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_565.pdf.
- Emery, J. C. H., Bartoo A. C., Matheson, J., Ferrer, A., Kirkpatrick, S. I., Tarasuk, V., & McIntyre, L. (2012). Evidence of the association between household food insecurity and heating cost inflation from Canada 1998–2001. Canadian Public Policy, 38, 181–215.Google Scholar
- Emery, J. C. H., Fleisch, V. C., & McIntyre, L. (2013a). How a guaranteed annual income could put food banks out of business. SPP Research Papers University of Calgary School of Public Policy, 6(37), 1–20. http://www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/sites/default/files/research/emery-foodbankfinal.pdf.
- Emery, J. C. H., Fleisch, V. C., & McIntyre, L. (2013b). Legislated changes to federal pension income in Canada will adversely affect low income seniors' health. Preventive Medicine, 57, 963–966.Google Scholar
- Fairlie, R. W. (2005). An extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique to logit and probit models. Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, 30(4), 305–316.Google Scholar
- Galster, G. C., & Santiago, A. M. (2008). Low-income homeownership as an asset-building tool. In M. A. Turner, H. Wial, & H. Wolman (Eds.), Urban and regional policy and its effects (pp. 60–108). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
- Health Canada. (2010). Household food insecurity in Canada in 2007–2008: Key Statistics and Graphics. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/surveill/nutrition/commun/insecurit/key-stats-cles-2007-2008-eng.php.
- Health Canada. (2012). The household food security survey module. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/surveill/nutrition/commun/insecurit/hfssm-mesam-eng.php.
- Hulchanski, J. D. (1994). The use of housing expenditure-to-income ratios: Origins, evolution and implications. Background Paper #2. Toronto: Ontario Human Rights Commission.Google Scholar
- Hulchanski, J. D. (2002). Housing policy for tomorrow’s cities. Discussion Paper F/27 Family Network. Ottawa: Canadian Policy Research Networks.Google Scholar
- Hulchanski, J. D. (2007). Canada’s dual housing policy. Assisting owners, neglecting renters. Research Bulletin #38. (Center for Urban and Community Studies).Google Scholar
- Jann, B. (2008). A Stata implementation of the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition. ETH Zurich Sociology Working Paper. (Zurich, Switzerland: ETH Zurich).Google Scholar
- Kirkpatrick, S. I., & Tarasuk, V. (2003). The relationship between low income and household food expenditure patterns in Canada. Public Health Nutrition, 6, 589–597.Google Scholar
- Ledrou, I., & Gervais, J. (2005). Food insecurity. Health Reports, 16, 47–52.Google Scholar
- Manturuk, K., Lindblad, M., & Quercia, R. G. (2010). Homeownership and sense of control during economic recession: A propensity score analysis. Working Paper. (Center for Community Capital, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).Google Scholar
- Martin-Fernandez, J., Grillo, F., Parizot, I., Caillavet, F., & Chauvin, P. (2013). Prevalence and socioeconomic and geographical inequalities of household food insecurity in the Paris region, France, 2010. BMC Public Health, 13, 486. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-486.
- McIntyre, L., Bartoo, A. C., & Emery, J. C. H. (2013). When working is not enough: Food insecurity in the Canadian labour force. Public Health Nutrition, 17, 49–57.Google Scholar
- McIntyre, L., Pow, J., & Emery, J. C. H. (2014). A path analysis of recurrently food insecure Canadians discerns employment, income, and negative health effects. Journal of Poverty, 19, 71–87.Google Scholar
- Moloughney, B. (2004). Housing and population health: The state of current research knowledge. Ottawa: Canadian Population Health Initiative and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.Google Scholar
- Newell, F. D., Williams, P. L., & Watt, C. G. (2014). Is the minimum enough? Affordability of a nutritious diet for minimum wage earners in Nova Scotia (2002–2012). Canadian Journal of Public Health, 105(3), e158–e165.Google Scholar
- Nord, M., Coleman-Jensen, A., & Gregory, C. (2014). Prevalence of U.S. Food insecurity is related to changes in unemployment, inflation, and the price of food. ERR-167, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, June. Retrieved April 3, 2015 from http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err167.aspx.
- Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion. (2007). Income-related household food security in Canada. Report No. H164-42/2007E. (Ottawa, ON: Health Canada).Google Scholar
- Olabiyi, O. M., & McIntyre, L. (2014). Determinants of food insecurity in higher-income households in Canada. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 9, 433–448.Google Scholar
- Public Health Agency of Canada. (2008). The chief public health officer’s report on the state of public health in Canada 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cphorsphc-respcacsp/2008/fr-rc/pdf/CPHO-Report-e.pdf.
- Rohe, W. M., Quercia, R. G., & Van Zandt, R. S. (2007). The social-psychological effects of home ownership. In W. M. Rohe & H. L. Watson (Eds.), Chasing the American dream: New perspectives on affordable homeownership (pp. 215–232). Ithanca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Rohe, W. M., Van Zandt, S., & McCarthy, G. (2001). The social benefits and costs of homeownership: A critical assessment of the research. Low Income Home Ownership Working Paper Series. Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University.Google Scholar
- Shapcott, M. (2008). Housing. In D. Raphael (Ed.), Social determinants of health: Canadian perspective (2nd ed., pp. 205–220). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.Google Scholar
- Sherraden, M. (2005). Inclusion in asset building: Testimony for hearing on building assets for low-income families before the subcommittee on social security and family policy senate finance committee. Washington, DC: U.S. Senate.Google Scholar
- Sinai, T. M., & Souleles, N. (2003). Owner occupied housing as insurance against rent risk. Working paper. (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania).Google Scholar
- Smith, M., Finlayson, G., Martens, P., Dunn, J., Prior, H., Taylor, C., et al. (2013). Social housing in Manitoba Part II: Social housing and health in Manitoba: A first look. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy.Google Scholar
- Statistics Canada. (2010a). Canadian Community Health Survey—Annual Component (CCHS). Retrieved April 3, 2015, from http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getSurvey&SurvId=50653&InstaId=81424&SDDS=3226.
- Statistics Canada. (2010b). Household food insecurity, 2007–2008. Retrieved April 5, 2015, from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2010001/article/11162-eng.htm.
- Statistics Canada. (2013). 2011 National household survey: Homeownership and shelter costs in Canada. Retrieved April 5, 2015, from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130911/dq130911b-eng.htm.
- Stone, M. E. (1993). Shelter poverty: New ideas on housing affordability. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
- Swanton, S. (2009). Social housing wait lists and the one-person household in Ontario. CPRN Research Report, Canadian Policy Research Networks Inc. and Social Housing Services Corporation, January.Google Scholar
- Tarasuk, V., Mitchell, A., & Dachner, N. (2014). Household food insecurity in Canada, 2012. PROOF (Research to Identify Policy Options to Reduce Food Insecurity) Report. Retrieved April 3, 2015 from http://nutritionalsciences.lamp.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Household_Food_Insecurity_in_Canada-2012_ENG.pdf.
- Tarasuk, V., & Vogt, J. (2009). Household food insecurity in Ontario. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 100, 184–188.Google Scholar
- United Nations. (no date). Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context. Retrieved June 18, 2014, from http://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/housing/pages/housingindex.aspx.