Ensuring housing stability is essential to protect the health of Bay Area residents as the region responds to and recovers from the COVID-19 crisis. Loss of stable housing—through eviction, foreclosure, natural disaster, or other causes—poses numerous significant health risks, both for the individuals directly affected and for the larger population.
Loss of housing disrupts a family’s ability to “shelter in place” and practice “social distancing,” which increases the likelihood of disease transmission. For example, renters who lose their housing must travel to seek out alternative housing arrangements or may stay with friends and family in overcrowded conditions.
Similarly, those facing eviction may need to attend an eviction court to participate in proceedings. These actions increase potential for exposure and conflict with recommended “social distancing” practices. Loss of housing is also a leading contributor to homelessness. People experiencing homelessness face increased barriers to staying healthy during this pandemic. For example, many people experiencing
homelessness live in environments that are conducive to a disease epidemic, including lack of regular access to basic hygiene supplies and showering facilities, all of which could facilitate virus transmission.
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