SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America A podcast that examines California's housing affordability crisis and imagines what housing can be in America. Meet the dreamers and doers who are finding their own solutions to high housing costs.
SOLD OUT: a new future for housing

SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America


A podcast that examines California's housing affordability crisis and imagines what housing can be in America. Meet the dreamers and doers who are finding their own solutions to high housing costs.

Most Recent Episodes

Bonus: Stories from Inside the Housing Crisis

In a bonus episode, we're featuring stories that show how housing touches us all in different ways. Each one is a part of a bigger picture. Hear from people raised under one roof, friendships formed by city hall rivalries, classmates pulling back the curtain on their housing struggles, people who've fought housing discrimination for half a century, and two homeless advocates who have very different ideas for solving the same problem. This episode was made in collaboration with StoryCorps, a national nonprofit, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which travels around the country in a mobile booth, conducting interviews and sharing highlights in their public archive. Read the transcript:

A Right To Housing

In the United States, housing is something you are expected to earn. But in too many places and for too many people, buying a home or renting is unaffordable. So more people are becoming homeless, or just struggling to get by. There's a growing movement of people who say that housing should be a human right in the United States. It should be guaranteed. In this episode of SOLD OUT, we explore what it would actually mean to make housing a right. And what that would look like in practice. Because everyone needs a home, whether they can afford it or not. Read the transcript:

Housing As Reparations

In America, homeownership has historically, and still is, the main way to build wealth. However racism and decades of discriminatory policies and lending practices have shut Black families out of this American dream. That's one of the reasons why we still see a huge wealth gap between Black and white Americans today. And some are convinced that the only way to solve that is to pay back what is owed: reparations. One this episode of SOLD OUT, we ask if housing can be a form of reparations that gives Black Americans the same opportunity that white Americans have always had in this country. Read the transcript:

Zoning Out

The single-family home is synonymous with the American dream. But that Norman Rockwell-esque image of a single home surrounded by a white picket fence comes with a loaded history. When cities first created neighborhoods where only single-family houses were allowed, it was about more than separating homes from apartments; it was about separating white families from everyone else. In this episode, we learn the back story behind single-family zoning and how it has led to the racial segregation we still see in our neighborhoods today. We also hear about the contentious debates to loosen single-family zoning, to make room for more affordable housing in our suburbs Read the transcript:


California has a huge housing shortage. The state says it needs to build nearly 2 million homes in the next five years. But we're not building anywhere near enough to reach that goal. One big reason: it's so expensive to build here. The cost of labor, land and materials all keep going up. And because of that, most of what does get built is way too expensive for most people. In this episode of SOLD OUT, we hear from entrepreneurs who think that building modular housing – apartments that are literally built in a factory – is one key to hacking the system and bringing down costs. We also hear about the long history of modular, why it hasn't always been the solution that some hoped for, and why that could be different today. Read the transcript:

Hotel Corona

When the coronavirus began spreading across the United States, health officials advised people to stay home and shelter-in-place, to protect themselves and slow the spread of the virus. But what about the people who have no home, no place to shelter? This question became particularly urgent in California where, on any given night, more than 150,000 people live on the streets, in RVs and in crowded shelters. In this episode, hear how after years of debate and studying solutions, the state of California was forced to plunge millions of dollars into hotels to move people like Sonja from the street to a hotel room. We'll also learn about the roots of California's homeless crisis. And as the state looks to purchase hotels to house more people, we'll hear from a hotel owner who in 2016 managed to transform his hotel into permanently supportive housing. Read the transcript:

Introducing SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America

Tents, evictions, long commutes and gentrification — our nation's housing crisis has been long in the making as spiraling housing costs crush the American Dream for all but the wealthy. SOLD OUT reimagines what housing can be by examining California, the epicenter of the housing affordability crisis. Meet the dreamers and doers who are finding their own solutions to high housing costs because we can't afford to wait. Hosted by KQED's Erin Baldassari and Molly Solomon. The first episode of SOLD OUT comes out on Monday, September 21st. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR One, or wherever you get your shows.

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