E: info@barhii.org | T: 510-210-8065


To achieve health equity in the Bay Area, BARHII pursues policies that can correct inequality for large groups of people. In 2016, BARHII will engage in two campaigns to change the odds for tens of thousands of Bay Area residents.

Housing Affordability

Creating Health Housing: The Five P’s of Housing Stability

Protection of existing residents. Protecting residents means ensuring renters can remain in their homes and don’t experience the health impacts of housing instability or displacement and can continue to contribute to a healthy, vibrant community.

Preservation of existing housing at all affordability levels. Preserving housing at all affordability levels means a commitment to maintaining affordable units despite changing economic conditions and replacing units at the same affordability levels for the same residents when preserving units is impossible. Preservation of housing is inexpensive and ensures residents can remain active and engaged in the communities they call home.

Production of new housing units at a diversity of housing levels. The region is behind in housing production, particularly for units affordable to low-income residents. Regional entities can make balanced housing production a priority through regulations and incentives for developers as well as through a commitment to using public resources for affordable housing.

Participation of residents and community leaders in decision-making processes that impact their housing stability. True community participation in planning processes leads to better outcomes that work for community members, and when residents are engaged and invested, health outcomes improve.

Placement of housing near transit, jobs, and amenities. The places we live have a huge impact on our health. Housing in the Bay Area should support residents’ health in a comprehensive, holistic way. This means locating homes by transit and health food sources and away from sources of pollution.

†Adopted from Get Healthy San Mateo County.

Economic Opportunity

Policies and other interventions that increase economic opportunity can help improve physical and economic health:

Raise Wages: Increase minimum wages to meet costs of living, and pass living wage ordinances which set wage and benefit standards for government employees and firms that benefit from public contracts, subsidies, or resources.

Improve Working Conditions: Pass policies that include paid family leave for new parents, paid sick time beyond the state mandated three days, minimum standards for fair hiring, benefits, predictable scheduling, protection for organizing, and health and safe working conditions, with a focus on low-wage workers. Increase enforcement of labor laws – in particular to prevent wage theft, where workers do not receive the full wages and benefits they are legally entitled to.

Expand Education and Pathways to Middle Wage Jobs: Ensure equal access to quality childcare, preschool, and education through high school graduation for all students. Advocate for school disciplinary policies, such as restorative justice, that aim to keep students in school vs. suspensions and expulsions, in order to increase graduation rates and decrease the educational achievement gap. Support industries that provide middle-wage jobs by increasing coordination among jurisdictions and by zoning to preserve industrial zones in appropriate locations. Support lower-skill workers to fill middle-wage jobs through educational agencies and job-specific training programs. Ensure that projects relying on public land, facilities, or dollars provide training programs, living wages, and local/targeted hiring.

Remove Barriers to Employment: Pass policies that provide access to job opportunities for people who have been formerly incarcerated in order to reduce recidivism, improve incomes, and benefit overall community health. “Banning the Box” so past convictions are not included on job applications and targeted job training and placement programs can all help formerly incarcerated people, low-income communities, communities of color, and youth in foster-care systems find employment.

Help Families Keep What They Earn and Build Wealth: Limit predatory financial services (like check cashing, payday loans, and sub-prime loans) and provide lower income areas increased access to more stable, community-owned, financial services with low interest rates, public ownership, and/or local reinvestment. Support financial coaching and other programs to help families escape debt and build wealth.

Invest in Communities and Local Business: Provide adequate funding for health promoting public services and amenities like schools, libraries, health care, transportation, social safety-net programs, housing, parks, etc., while passing policies to limit displacement in at-risk neighborhoods. Promote small businesses in local planning processes, and identify opportunities and tools for retaining small businesses – such as proactive multi-lingual enforcement, small business coaching, and assistance with long-term leases and code compliance.