Beyond Renting and Owning: The Housing Accommodations of Low-Income Families

Kim Skobba, Marilyn J. Bruin, Becky L. Yust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This mixed-methods study used structured, in-depth interviews to collect data that was analyzed quantitatively as well as qualitatively to explore the long-term housing patterns experienced by low-income families and the ways in which vouchers affect these patterns. Using a life-course theoretical framework and an event history approach, information on past housing, employment, and life circumstances was collected from 30 participants, 17 who had a voucher and 13 on the waiting list to receive one. The low-income families in the study moved frequently, through rental housing, homeless shelters, and living with family and friends. After receiving a voucher, families lived independently in rental housing and had greater housing stability. This research offers a framework for understanding the complex residential mobility patterns of low-income families, which includes the use of informal and formal housing assistance. The findings highlight the high level of housing insecurity experienced by low-income people and emphasize the important role that Housing Choice Vouchers play in helping families with serious housing problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-252
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Poverty
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • housing assistance
  • housing career
  • housing insecurity
  • low-income households
  • residential mobility


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond Renting and Owning: The Housing Accommodations of Low-Income Families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this