As a physician, I see the effects of Portland’s increasing housing costs daily. As rents rise, individuals must make increasingly difficult choices, with cumulative health repercussions. Cash-strapped renters who can’t afford a car often forgo well-child visits, causing delays in vaccinations. Otherwise-preventable illnesses get passed along, causing a chain reaction of illness and economic hardship for other families.

Public health research shows that housing insecurity increases the risk for acute illness and injury, depression and substance abuse in adults. Children who lose their housing are more likely to develop mental illness as adults. Residents of unstable neighborhoods have lower physical activity levels because they fear leaving their homes.

I myself own a rental property. Speaking as both a landlord and a physician, I support Question 1, the rent stabilization and protection of tenants’ rights proposal on the Nov. 7 Portland ballot. The health of Portland depends on keeping housing affordable and secure.

Krystian Bigosinski