Housing Insecurity and Displacement in the Bay Area
BARHII Displacement Brief
Research shows that housing unaffordability, insecurity and displacement can impact health in the following ways:
- Unhealthy Tradeoffs: When housing costs are high, working families have to make difficult choices.
- Mental Health Impacts: The emotional toll of displacement and living with the threat of displacement is significant, affecting mental wellbeing, sense of belonging and community cohesion.
- Effects on Children and Families: The health impacts of housing instability are particularly intense for children, causing behavioral problems, educational delays, depression, low birth weights, and other health conditions such as asthma.
- Long Commutes, Air Quality, Congestion and Health: Without adequate housing near job centers, many low- and moderate income Bay Area employees must commute long distances to work, worsening congestion and air quality for Bay Area communities.
The Bay Area is in the midst of an unprecedented period of economic growth, adding nearly 200,000 jobs in the past decade. Along with lagging housing production and renewed investment in central cities, this growth has fueled dramatic increases in housing costs, with rents rising almost 40% between 2010 and 2014. Households may be displaced for many reasons—rising rents, poor housing or neighborhood conditions, or (new) development to name a few—and all these types of displacement can have health impacts.