Neighbourhood violence and housing instability: an exploratory study of low-income women

Christian King, Xi Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Housing instability remains a persistent problem in the United States. While physical and gun violence negatively affect communities, little is known about whether and how they are associated with the risk of housing instability. This study uses structural equation modelling to explore these relationships and examine how they may be mediated by other neighbourhood social and physical factors. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a sample of mostly low-income urban women, we find that witnessing violence is positively associated with the risk of experiencing housing instability. Also, having a deadly gun shooting in proximity of the home was only indirectly associated with housing instability. These findings underlie links between neighbourhood violence and housing instability that were previously understudied. This exploratory study provides some potential new avenues of investigation regarding neighbourhood safety, urban housing policy, and social inequity reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHousing Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • gun violence
  • homelessness
  • Housing instability
  • low-income women
  • violence exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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