Alameda County Housing Crisis Impacts Half of all Residents
Alameda County is facing a housing crisis that has a profound impact on the health of its 1.6 million residents. Fifty-three percent of our residents pay more than 30 percent of their income toward housing costs, and 25 percent have at least one of four severe housing problems that include overcrowding, high housing costs equaling greater than 50 percent of income spent on housing, the lack of a kitchen, or lack of plumbing facilities. More than12,000 people across the county experience an episode of homelessness each year.
To prevent more people from becoming homeless, we must dig deep and focus on creating more safe and supportive places to call home. Solutions include building partnerships with property owners and housing providers, creating housing support services for specific populations with physical or mental health challenges, providing education and enforcement of healthy housing standards, and building respite and permanent supportive housing options. Housing investments are health investments.
“Alameda County Care Connect is a catalyst for a bold new approach that promotes whole person care. The 5-year pilot is building capacity to meet the health, housing, and social needs of Medi-Cal recipients with histories of receiving inadequate and fragmented care. Care Connect is bringing resources and a commitment to link health and housing resources in a robust and sustainable fashion,” says Dr. Robert Ratner, M.D., Housing Services Director, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency.
Addressing homelessness, moving people home and preventing more people from becoming homeless requires time and hard work to ensure sustainable housing for all. Initial steps include creating deeply affordable and supportive housing, launching housing resource centers, hiring more staff and mobilizing community resources, and building a coordinated approach for people and systems. Everyone has a role in preventing, reducing, and eliminating homelessness.
People experiencing homelessness do not have to remain unsheltered forever. Homelessness can be addressed by building capacity within individuals and the broader community. Steps include training and coaching to provide housing problem solving, investing in flexible funds to prevent homelessness and help people keep or get housed, helping individuals build strong support systems, and linking with new partners to solve persistent problems. Solutions range from short term financial assistance and support to ongoing long-term housing subsidies.
The Housing Solutions for Health Information Kit was developed to help our partners communicate the problem and identify solutions to address the housing needs of Alameda County residents facing the most complex challenges. View Housing Solutions for Health Information Kit.
Oct 4, 2018