Receipt of housing assistance from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is associated with improved health among adults and lower rates of unmet medical need among adults and young children. However, it is unclear whether HUD housing assistance is associated with healthier behaviors. The objective of our study was to assess whether participation in HUD housing assistance programs is associated with increased physical activity among low-income adults.
In 2017, we pooled cross-sectional data from the 2004-2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) linked to administrative records of HUD housing assistance participation. Our primary sample was low-income adults (aged ≥18; <200% of federal poverty level). Using multivariate logistic regression, we calculated the odds of being physically active (≥150 min/week of moderate-intensity activity or equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity) among current HUD housing assistance residents compared with a control group of future residents (adults who would receive assistance within the next 2 years). In a secondary analyses, we examined neighborhood socioeconomic status as a modifier and conducted a subanalysis among nonsenior adults (aged <65).
Among all low-income adults, the adjusted odds of being physically active were similar for current and future residents (odds ratio =1.17; 95% confidence interval, 0.95-1.46). Among nonseniors, current residents were more likely to be physically active than future residents (odds ratio = 1.47; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-1.97). Associations did not differ by neighborhood socioeconomic status.
Receiving HUD housing assistance is associated with being physically active among nonsenior low-income adults.