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Subsidized housing, housing prices, and the living arrangements of unmarried mothers

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  • Marah A. Curtis

Abstract

Although many studies estimate the effects of welfare benefits on mothers’ living arrangements, housing subsidies and prices are rarely the focus. This article uses a new longitudinal birth cohort study, the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, to examine the relationship between subsidized housing, housing prices, and the living arrangements of unmarried mothers three years after a nonmarital birth. Results suggest that the availability of subsidized housing is negatively associated with marriage relative to living alone. Eligibility criteria and means testing in subsidized housing may make marriage a costly choice. Housing prices are positively associated with marriage, cohabitation, and living with family members relative to living alone. Economies of scale may be particularly important for single‐earner households when housing prices increase. Failure to control for housing costs and subsidies leads to underestimates of the effects of welfare and unemployment rates on the living arrangements of unmarried mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Marah A. Curtis, 2007. "Subsidized housing, housing prices, and the living arrangements of unmarried mothers," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 145-170, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:houspd:v:18:y:2007:i:1:p:145-170
    DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2007.9521597
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:pri:crcwel:wp12-03-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Marah A. Curtis & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman, 2012. "Life Shocks and Homelessness," Working Papers 1374, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    3. Colleen Wynn & Lauren McClain, 2015. "Not Quite Out On The Streets: Housing Tenure Among Low-Income Urban Fathers," Working Papers wp13-17-ff, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    4. Marah Curtis & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Nancy Reichman, 2013. "Life Shocks and Homelessness," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(6), pages 2227-2253, December.

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