Measures of Material Hardship: Final Report. Joint Frequency of Availability of Basic Needs, Availability of Selected Household Durables, and Housing Summary Measures

04/01/2004

Lack of a refrigerator or stove is a mild predictor of basic need hardships (Exhibit 4.14, rows 2 and 3). The strongest relationships, not surprisingly, are between these household durables and the two food security measures (recall that less than 1% of households lack a refrigerator or stove).

Overcrowding is somewhat more strongly related to basic needs hardships. Compared with the general population, overcrowded households are three times as likely to be food insecure (37 versus 12%).

The presence of housing safety issues is very strongly related to all basic needs hardships. Households with four or more safety issues are nearly four times as likely as the general population to have missed a rent or mortgage payment, more than three times as likely to have missed a utility payment, four times as likely to be food insecure, and almost five times as likely to be food insecure with hunger. These households comprise 1.5% of the population.

Among households under 100% of poverty, lack of a refrigerator or stove is a strong predictor of experiencing food insecurity and hunger. (Exhibit 4.15) Food insecurity and hunger also are more prevalent among overcrowded households. Household safety issues are still a strong predictor and around two-thirds of households under 100% FPL with four or more safety issues missed a utility payment, and an equal proportion were food insecure.

Exhibit 4.14
Joint Frequency Selected Durable Goods and Housing Safety Measures, by Basic Needs and Food Security
  Basic Needs & Food Security
Did not pay rent or mortgage Evicted for failure to pay rent or mortgage Did not pay gas, oil, or electricity bill Lost gas, oil, or electricity for failure to pay Telephone disconnected for failure to pay Needed to see doctor or go to hospital but did not Needed to see dentist but did not Food insecure Food insecure with hunger
Geographic Location
Overall Frequency 8.3 0.4 14.4 2.2 6.2 7.3 10.2 12.2 4.6
Selected Durable Goods
Refrigerator 11.5 2.4 21.9 0.0 14.4 14.6 11.7 28.0 10.7
Stove 11.2 1.5 16.9 5.2 10.0 8.3 8.2 29.4 13.8
Housing Safety Measures
3+ safety issues 27.6 1.9 42.3 11.0 18.2 22.8 29.3 46.1 21.6
4+ safety issues 30.2 3.3 46.4 13.2 19.8 22.4 33.6 48.8 22.1
Overcrowding 16.8 1.1 19.5 2.4 15.5 16.2 16.1 37.1 12.3
Notes:  Cell entries represent percent of households that have characteristic shown in column, among those that have characteristic shown in row.
Exhibit 4.15
Joint Frequency of Selected Durables and Housing Safety Measures, by Basic Needs and Food Security,
Households Under 100% FPL
  Basic Needs & Food Security
Did not pay rent or mortgage Evicted for failure to pay rent or mortgage Did not pay gas, oil, or electricity bill Lost gas, oil, or electricity for failure to pay Telephone disconnected for failure to pay Needed to see doctor or go to hospital but did not Needed to see dentist but did not Food insecure Food insecure with hunger
Overall Frequency 18.2 1.1 29.4 6.0 15.1 14.9 16.8 32.0 12.6
Selected Durables
No refrigerator 4.3 0.0 26.7 0.0 13.0 25.1 11.1 42.1 20.8
No stove 12.3 4.2 33.0 9.4 10.8 13.4 12.2 48.3 18.9
Housing Safety Measures
3+ safety issues 37.3 4.3 56.9 15.8 25.1 26.1 29.3 59.4 28.7
4+ safety issues 38.1 6.8 65.0 17.2 21.5 24.1 34.5 68.3 32.4
Overcrowding 19.9 1.7 21.6 5.8 16.6 18.4 14.1 44.6 13.3
Notes:  Cell entries represent percent of households that have characteristic shown in column, among those that have characteristic shown in row.

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