Children’s HealthWatch Principal Investigator, Dr. Megan Sandel, wrote this article on the connection between housing and health.

Moving too often can be bad for your health

I see the problem of unaffordable rent in my medical practice. For many young patients who are failing to thrive, their biggest problem is not food but housing. They wake up each morning not sure where they will sleep, which affects not only their bodies but their growing brains. Kids who move more than twice in a year are more likely to get hospitalized. A single change in elementary schools is equivalent to missing out on four weeks of progress in math and reading, research shows.

When families spend at least half of their income on rent, they are forced into a nearly impossible dilemma of making rent or paying for groceries, medicine, child care and other essentials. In California, the problem is even more acute. About 1.75 million households, or 30 percent of the state’s renters, pay at least half of their income on rent and utilities. That’s the third-highest in the country, barely behind Florida and New Jersey, according to an analysis of 2013 census data by Enterprise. In Sacramento County, around 67,000 families, or 28 percent of renter households, pay at least half their incomes on rent.