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Cityscape: Volume 19 Number 3 | U.S. Commentary: The Family Options Study and Food Insecurity


The Family Options Study

Volume 19, Number 3

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

U.S. Commentary: The Family Options Study and Food Insecurity

Elaine Waxman
Urban Institute

Housing and food insecurity often coexist in the same household and reflect tradeoffs between basic needs that families grapple with when facing limited and often unstable income (Cutts et al., 2011; Heflin, 2006; Joyce et al., 2012). Unfortunately, research often fails to examine the intersection of material hardships (Ziliak, 2015) or fully explore how strategies intended to address one domain may influence outcomes in another. The Family Options Study breaks new ground, not only because of the insights it provides into strategies for improving family housing outcomes, but also because it illuminates the role of housing subsidies in reducing other material hardships like food insecurity (Gubits et al., 2016). For policymakers, practitioners, and researchers interested in strengthening low-income communities, the Family Options Study is a powerful reminder of the importance of rigorously evaluating interventions with an eye firmly focused on how they contribute to overall family well-being.

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