The rising tide of housing quality

This study analyzes patterns of housing consumption and expenditures among social safety net recipients since 1985. For safety net recipients, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and cash welfare (AFDC/TANF), monthly housing expenditures have risen from $692 to $1,341. However, these increased expenditures partially reflect housing quantity improvements, including more square footage, more rooms, and larger lot sizes. The data also show a marked improvement in housing quality, such as fewer sagging roofs, broken appliances, rodents, and peeling paint. The housing quality for social safety net recipients improved across 35 indicators. These quality improvements equate to a 35 to 44 percent increase in housing consumption and suggest that a typical safety net recipient in 2021 experiences housing consumption equivalent to the average national household in 1985. Though relative housing consumption has remained similar for safety net recipients, this “rising tide” of housing quality may have additional benefits for the health and well being of families and children living in better housing.

That is from a new paper by Erik Hembre, J. Michael Collins, and Samuel Wylde.  Via the excellent Kevin Lewis.


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