The link between affordable housing and hunger means families have more available income to buy adequate and nutritious food.
Families without access to affordable housing, including housing vouchers, are forced to spend the majority of their incomes on rent leaving little to no funds left to afford food.
On the other hand, families who did have housing vouchers “were found to increase their discretionary income by 77 percent, freeing up funds to spend on health insurance, food, and education or to save for a future down payment on a home,” according to Health Affairs, Housing and health: An Overview of the Literature quoted on the Opportunity Starts at Home Anti-Hunger Advocates are Housing Advocates Fact Sheet
In 1996, Congress reduced the amount of housing costs a family could deduct from their gross income, meaning that families were not receiving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits they needed. As housing prices continue to rise since 1996 this has become a much larger issue, causing food insecurity “among very low-income families.”
Food insecure and low-income populations face a greater risk of obesity and poor nutrition.
Coupled with poor access to healthcare, households without access to affordable housing are at risk of suffering serious health complications caused by hunger.
Families receiving both housing subsidies and SNAP or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) were “72 percent more likely to be housing secure” than families who only had access to affordable housing.
Opportunity Starts at Home wants to spread the message that “anti-hunger advocates are housing advocates.” Hunger affects over 41 million Americans including the “most vulnerable population – children.” To learn more about Opportunity Starts at Home and how hunger affects homelessness click here.
If you are passionate about providing affordable housing and hunger in New Jersey, you should attend the July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Oportunity Starts at Home.
We know that by joining together and amplifying our voices, we can have an impact on the decisions that are made in Washington DC. Join Monarch Housing Associates and our 35 partners from New Jersey to make the case that homelessness is solvable a problem.
The federal government must be a full partner in ensuring an adequate breadth of services are available to prevent children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and all of our neighbors in NJ from experiencing the homelessness.
Register today to attend the Congressional Reception. Everyone needs to register even if you are traveling on your own.