Episode 856: Yes In My Backyard : Planet Money There's a simple way to solve the housing crisis in U.S. cities. Only problem is, almost everybody hates it.
NPR logo Episode 856: Yes In My Backyard

Episode 856: Yes In My Backyard

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SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 06: Rows of houses stand in front of the San Francisco skyline June 6, 2007 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It's hard to build new housing in cities like San Francisco. There's restrictive zoning that keeps developers from building too high. Plus, neighborhood councils get to object to specific projects they don't like.

These restrictions are a big part of why rents have gotten... too high. So a group of renters is pushing for a simple solution: Let developers build.

Only problem is, almost everybody hates it. In working class neighborhoods, people worry new development means gentrification. In richer areas, homeowners don't want high-rises blocking their million-dollar views.

Today on the show, we talk to the woman trying to solve the housing crisis by making construction cool.

Music: "Disco Forever" and "Blues Rock Attitude."

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Correction July 30, 2018

A previous version of this episode misstated the location of a town that Sonja Trauss is suing. It is to the east of San Francisco, not the south.