One of California’s ongoing challenges that was magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic was the lack of affordable housing. Now, a report published by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) draws a strong connection between residents’ struggle to pay for housing and a lack of access to health care.

The report is based on responses to the 2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), which is conducted by UCLA CHPR.

Across the state, the CHIS found that 1 in 10 adults — or 3 million people — had difficulty paying to keep a roof over their heads in 2021. While 5.0% of homeowners said they had difficulty making mortgage payments, the situation was more dire for renters, 18.6% of whom said they had trouble paying their landlords. In addition, housing instability — caused by overcrowded living situations or a need to move frequently, for example — was an issue for 4.4% of California adults, or about 1.39 million people.