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This chapter explores how state policies affect the incidence and mitigation of food insecurity and housing instability among noncustodial fathers. Male participation in food benefit program and public housing are affected by state policies that disqualify individuals for drug felony convictions, failing to work or participate in a work program, and/or discretionary policies that local housing authorities adopt on criminal behavior. State child support policy also affects eligibility for housing assistance, rental rates, and the size of the units that noncustodial parents can obtain. Some of these issues might be addressed by facilitating cross-program enrollment in child support and SNAP and better coordination between child support and housing agencies. For example, if housing agencies considered child support payments that noncustodial parents make when calculating income for housing assistance, parents would receive higher subsidies and lower rents. Mandates and incentives to include fathers in housing programs may help to expand housing options for them. Ultimately, however, we need huge public investments to solve these problems, some of which were included in the Build Back Better Act passed by House Democrats but derailed in the Senate.
Download Chapter 9: Food and Housing at the link below.