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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp e129–e134 | Cite as

High vulnerability to household food insecurity in a sample of Canadian renter households in government-subsidized housing

  • Andrée-Anne Fafard St-Germain
  • Valerie TarasukEmail author
Quantitative Research
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity and examine household material circumstances related to food insecurity in a sample of renter households in government-subsidized housing.

METHODS: Cross-sectional data from the 2010 Survey of Household Spending were used to determine the food insecurity status of 455 renter households living in the 10 provinces and receiving a government housing subsidy. Multivariable logistic regressions were conducted to examine the relationship between household characteristics describing material circumstances and food insecurity.

RESULTS: One in two households was food insecure. Marginal, moderate and severe food insecurity affected 9.0%, 23.3% and 18.5% of households respectively. Household economic resources, as captured with after-tax income, after-rent income, or total expenditure, had an independent, inverse relationship with food insecurity. Among the other characteristics examined, more adults or children in the household, presence of a member with disability, and receipt of social assistance increased the odds of food insecurity, but receipt of social assistance lost statistical significance when controlling for total expenditure. Presence of a senior in the household was independently associated with lower odds of food insecurity.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that more effective income-based interventions are needed to address food insecurity among low-income households receiving government housing subsidies. A better integration of housing and income-based policies is necessary to support household food security among government-subsidized renter households.

Key Words

Food insecurity renters housing subsidy Canada 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Déterminer la prévalence et la gravité de l’insécurité alimentaire des ménages et examiner les conditions matérielles des ménages liées à l’insécurité alimentaire au sein d’un échantillon de ménages locataires vivant dans des logements subventionnés par l’État.

MÉTHODE: Nous avons utilisé les données transversales de l’Enquête sur les dépenses des ménages de 2010 pour déterminer le statut d’insécurité alimentaire de 455 ménages locataires vivant dans les 10 provinces et touchant une subvention gouvernementale pour le logement. À l’aide de régressions logistiques multivariées, nous avons examiné les liens entre les caractéristiques des ménages décrivant les conditions matérielles et l’insécurité alimentaire.

RÉSULTATS: Un ménage sur deux était aux prises avec l’insécurité alimentaire. L’insécurité alimentaire marginale, modérée et grave touchait respectivement 9 %, 23,3 % et 18,5 % des ménages. Les ressources économiques des ménages, saisies à l’aide du revenu net d’impôt, du revenu après le loyer ou des dépenses totales, affichaient une corrélation inverse indépendante avec l’insécurité alimentaire. Parmi les autres caractéristiques examinées, le nombre d’adultes ou d’enfants dans le ménage, la présence d’un membre ayant une invalidité et le fait de toucher des prestations d’aide sociale augmentaient la probabilité d’insécurité alimentaire, mais le fait de toucher des prestations d’aide sociale perdait sa signification statistique après l’apport d’ajustements pour tenir compte des effets des dépenses totales. La présence d’une personne âgée dans le ménage était indépendamment corrélée à une probabilité d’insécurité alimentaire plus faible.

CONCLUSION: Nos constatations indiquent qu’il faut améliorer l’efficacité des interventions fondées sur le revenu pour aborder l’insécurité alimentaire dans les ménages à faible revenu touchant des subventions gouvernementales pour le logement. Une meilleure intégration des politiques de logement et des politiques fondées sur le revenu est nécessaire pour favoriser la sécurité alimentaire des ménages locataires dont le logement est subventionné par l’État.

Mots Clés

insécurité alimentaire locataires subventions au logement Canada 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrée-Anne Fafard St-Germain
    • 1
  • Valerie Tarasuk
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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