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    Housing Instability and Homeless Program Use Among Veterans: The Intersection of Race, Sex, and Homelessness

    Housing Policy Debate

    Year: 2020

    This study describes race/sex differences in housing instability among veterans and examines whether there are disparities in their access of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) homeless programs. The sample comprised 5,355,858 veterans who responded to VHA’s universal screen for housing instability (Homelessness Screening Clinical Reminder) between October 2012 and March 2016. We compared rates of housing instability and VHA homeless program use by race/sex categories; multivariate logistic regressions modeled positive screens for housing instability and use of VHA homeless programs within 6 months. Veterans representing racial groups other than white—regardless of sex—have greater odds of reporting housing instability and using VHA homeless programs. Women veterans have lower odds of screening positive for housing instability. Findings suggest that groups of veterans with the highest rates of housing instability may experience multiple layers of disadvantage; disparities in accessing care among racial minority groups are not apparent.

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