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The housing situations of food bank users in Great Britain

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Social Policy and Society
Issue number1
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)55-73
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date27/05/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Food bank use in Great Britain has risen substantially over the last decade. The considerable socioeconomic disadvantage of the food bank user population has been documented, but little research has examined whether housing problems intersect with insecure food access. Using data from 598 households accessing assistance from twenty-four food banks operating in Great Britain in 2016–2017, we found that nearly 18 per cent of households were homeless, with more having experienced homelessness in the past twelve months. Renters from both the private and social rented sectors were also overrepresented in the sample. Households in both private and social rented housing reported high rates of rent arrears and poor conditions; those in private housing were also more likely to live in homes with damp, to have moved in past year, and to be worried about a forced move in future. Overall, housing problems are widespread among food bank users; policy interventions are needed.