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J Racial Ethn Health Disparities ; 2022 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2233827


Affordable housing is necessary for the health and well-being of children and families. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affected the ability of low-income families to pay for housing. The aim of this study is to evaluate associations between household characteristics of participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and housing-cost burden during the pandemic. WIC is a federally-funded nutrition assistance program for low-income mothers, infants, and children up to the age of 5. Data were from a 2020 survey of a random sample of WIC households (n = 5815) in Los Angeles County. Ordinal logistic regression determined the odds of being housing-cost burdened by parent respondent's race/ethnicity, household composition, employment, residence, and housing cost. Logistic regression determined if the pandemic contributed to the housing-cost burden. A total of 61% of households reported housing-cost burden, with two-thirds attributing the burden to the pandemic. Spanish-speaking Hispanic parents and white parents reported a higher prevalence of pandemic-related burden, while Asian, Black, and English-speaking Hispanic parents reported a higher prevalence of burden unrelated to the pandemic. Single-parent households, those experiencing residential instability, and those with high housing costs had higher odds of burden. Spanish-speaking Hispanic parents, white parents, homeowners, and those with high housing costs were more likely to attribute the burden to the pandemic. To ensure that existing inequities are not exacerbated, it is vital that housing assistance be available to low-income households that were disproportionately affected by the pandemic.