How Housing Impacts Food Security

By: Danielle Hubley, Advocacy and Education Manager, Partnership for Strong Communities

With the cost to rent in the state having increased by 20%, alongside the rising costs of living and the stagnation of wages for workers, renters are finding themselves left with very little in their household budgets for other important necessities or expenses. People should not have to choose between which of their basic human needs they are able to meet, yet that is the unfortunate reality many are facing in our state.  

Thirty-one percent of renters in Connecticut are spending more than half of their earned income just to keep their homes. One-third of all Connecticut households rent, and the average hourly wage of a renter, $22.29, falls below the wage necessary to afford a typical one-bedroom apartment at $25.90 per hour.  

Access to reliable, affordable, and nutritious food is just one of the many issues Connecticut families are facing, and housing instability is one of the root causes of food insecurity. In the state, nearly 400,000 people are food insecure. One out of every ten residents and one in nine children are faced with food insecurity right now. Connecticut has also seen a 14% rise in homelessness year over year since 2021, and is experiencing the highest reported unsheltered crisis in recent history.  

211 is the free information and referral service in Connecticut for connecting people to health and human services operating in the state. Across a range of supportive services, the majority of the calls 211 received indicate that housing, shelter and food insecurity were the top services requested by callers The limited affordability and accessibility of housing and food are hurting the quality of life for so many people across the state. 

To keep Connecticut residents happier, healthier and to support more stability in their lives, we need to engage in holistic advocacy to help address peoples’ basic needs and reduce the impact that stress can have on individuals and families. Research demonstrates that having a stable home in is associated with positive outcomes like less stress, lower instances of domestic violence, reduced alcohol and drug use  and increased food security. Stable housing also fosters stronger family bonds, reduces children being separated from their families, minimizes school and childcare absences and supports positive behavioral outcomes in children.  

On May 1st, the Partnership hosted the fourth session in our Intersectional webinar series, which  explored the relationship between affordable housing and food insecurity. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Aubrey Roscoe, Director of the Institute for Hunger Research & Solutions, Connecticut Foodshare, Deirdre DiCara, Executive Director with FISH/Friends in Service to Humanity of Northwestern CT, Inc. and Stephanie Boyce, Director of Homeless Prevention, Outreach and Food Access Programs with Hands on Hartford as they explored the intersectional nature of helping households in meeting their most basic needs.  

Click here to view a recording of the webinar.  

In addition, presenters provided attendees with a resource list for anyone seeking food services in Connecticut. For folks facing housing instability and seeking direct services, the Partnership maintains a resource list for individuals facing housing insecurity.  

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