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Housing Stability and Health In San Mateo County

By Dr. Scott Morrow

Renters displaced from San Mateo County leave an environment rich in amenities that support health, such this Burlingame park that gives children space to play. Photo © Gino DeGrandis

The San Mateo County Health System helps county residents and workers live longer and better lives....  Housing stability is a fundamental element of the System’s commitment to healthy places. This article explores this issue and its effects on health, highlights the need for action, and suggests a framework for moving forward.


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Housing and Commute Costs Squeeze Low-Wage Workers

Housing and Commute Costs Squeeze Low-Wage Workers

By Alexandra Goldman

Even unionized janitors find it hard to handle the cost of housing plus commuting in Silicon Valley. Photo courtesy of SEIU-USWW







In Silicon Valley, current and historical land-use decisions create daily challenges for low-income residents. Low-density development, inadequate transit, and the high cost of housing force residents into tough choices: commute long distances, despite the high cost of gas and car ownership, or live close to work and pay rent almost equal to a month’s salary.

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The Right to Rest

Homeless Coalition Challenges Criminalization of Life on the Street
By Paul Boden and Terry Messman

Courtesy of

The Right to Rest Act of the Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign aims to end discrimination and the criminalization of the right to rest, and eliminate the violations of basic human and civil rights for all people, regardless of their housing status.

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Tenant Rights Movement Wins New Law in Oakland

A Step Towards Healthy Housing for Oakland’s  Tenants
By Robbie Clark

ACPHD staff member speaking on the health impacts of displacement. Photo courtesy of APCHDOn November 5, 2014, the Oakland City Council approved the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO), a landmark policy victory that will protect thousands of Oakland’s tenants from landlord harassment.
The TPO resulted from the work that Causa Justa::Just Cause (CJJC) has been doing with the Alameda County Public Health Department’s (ACPHD) Place Matters program. It was a key policy solution highlighted in CJJC’s Development Without Displacement report released earlier this year. (See

Dan Kalb, councilmember for District 1, sponsored the ordinance, which was approved by five out of eight councilmembers last November.

The TPO is a major win for the Bay Area tenants’ rights movement and a critical step forward in ensuring that Oakland’s longtime residents are not displaced by new development. It’s part of a growing tenant justice movement, which includes establishing a rent cap and limiting rent increase pass-throughs for Oakland’s tenants. It was also the first tenant protection policy to be approved in Oakland in more than a decade. Previous protections, such as the rent stabilization program and just cause evictions, only applied to tenants in units built before 1983. The TPO extends to all rental units built up until 2014, with the exception of owner-occupied buildings and nonprofit-owned housing.

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