A recent survey in which Alameda County health workers were asked about the housing situations of their patients reports that thousands of low-income, elderly and disabled patients in the East Bay are living in overcrowded and unsafe conditions, overpaying for rent, or homeless altogether. This same population has seen a “crisis” level increase in hospitalizations for hypertension, mental health emergencies, asthma attacks, and more.
"While the causes and solutions to address the housing crisis are complex, inaction is a prescription for shorter, sicker lives for many of our Alameda County Residents," concluded [Alameda County Public Health Department Director Dr. Muntu Davis] in a policy brief.
PolicyLink researcher Kalima Rose has found that despite the Bay Area’s intense job growth, affordable housing has by far not kept pace – and the city’s lower-income residents are suffering for it, especially black and Latino residents. Rose discovered in a recent survey of Oakland apartment listings that zero units offered were affordable for a person earning $12.25 minimum wage, or for a teacher’s starting salary of $42,497.