Health Department officials began analyzing the link between housing insecurity and health after watching hundreds of their clients get displaced from Oakland and surrounding cities. To understand the depth and magnitude of the housing crisis, officials conducted interviews with 188 Health Department workers and 167 Behavioral Services staff and contractors. Ninety-four percent of respondents said the stress of inadequate or unstable housing was affecting their clients’ health, in many cases nullifying the services that county health programs provide for needy communities.More than 10 staff members who filled out the survey said that they, too, had been priced out of the metropolitan areas of Alameda County, where rents are steadily escalating — the median rent for a two-bedroom is now $2,850 a month, according to the real estate site Trulia. Many of them now have long commutes from places like Tracy, Modesto or Antioch, which cause them to lose sleep and have led to car accidents, the study said.
These results are not surprising and would likely be found in other high cost metro areas. In short, the center no longer holds as a diversified, sustainable socio-economy. Something has to give and that something is population health status.