KQED Launches New Podcast Series on the Housing Crisis and What We Can Do to Fix It

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September 21, 2020; SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- KQED announced a new five-part limited series on the California housing crisis that will be hosted by KQED’s housing affordability reporters Molly Solomon and Erin Baldassari. SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America reimagines what housing can be by examining California, the epicenter of the nation’s housing affordability crisis. 

Debuting on Monday September 21, this limited series will examine five major problems in the California housing crisis through narrative storytelling. Solomon and Baldassari introduce us to people experiencing homelessness and the activists pushing city leaders to de-commodify housing. They talk with builders hacking traditional construction methods to build more homes faster and policy experts who believe housing can be a form of reparations that gives Black Americans the same opportunity that white Americans have always had in this country. 

The series also addresses some of the bigger moments from this year including the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd protests. “All of these events, they really reinforce the connection between housing and everything else. Where you live really matters,” says Molly Solomon. “Where you live determines your chances of getting sick, getting into prison, going to college, or getting a high paying job,” says Erin Baldassari.

Start Listening


SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America launches with new episodes on Mondays, starting September 21. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Or visit https://www.kqed.org/podcasts/soldout

Season Schedule

Episode 1: September 21, 2020
Hotel Corona
After years of debate and studying solutions, California was forced to plunge hundreds of millions of dollars into hotels to move homeless people out of the street and away from the dangers of COVID-19. And now, some of those hotels will become permanent homes. 

Episode 2: September 28, 2020
Why is it so expensive to build in California? Some entrepreneurs think that building modular housing – apartments that are literally built in a factory – is one key to hacking the system. 

Episode 3: October 5, 2020
Zoning Out
In America, there are lots of rules about what gets built and where, which can determine who gets to live where and who doesn’t. But what if we rewrote those rules to include more housing and more people?

Episode 4: October 12, 2020 
A Case for Housing Reparations
Housing is the main way Americans build intergenerational wealth and equity, however racism has denied this opportunity to Black people and communities of color. Can homeownership be a form of reparations?

Episode 5: October 19, 2020
How Do We Make Public Housing a Thing Again? 
Since the 1970’s, the U.S. government investment in public housing has nearly vanished in exchange for a private-public partnership. This leaves local governments and taxpayers to fund these projects. Is there a way to get the federal government back in the business of building housing for the public?

Bonus Episode: October 26, 2020 
StoryCorps Bay Area Housing Edition
In partnership with the StoryCorp Mobile Unit, we’ve asked residents of the San Francisco Bay Area to share their personal housing stories. Hear from activists working to end homelessness, a family of renters and YIMBY’s breaking into politics.

About the Hosts
Molly Solomon is a housing affordability reporter at KQED where she has covered homelessness, evictions and housing policy. Her coverage of a group of mothers who occupied an empty house in Oakland, California to protest housing speculation was featured on NPR and  other national outlets. Her reporting in Oregon and Hawaii has earned Molly three national Edward R. Murrow awards.

Erin Baldassari reports on California’s housing shortage and affordability crisis for KQED. She has documented how the affordability crisis has caused extreme commutes, transportation changes and development fights. Erin won a Pulitzer Prize in 2017 with the East Bay Times

SOLD OUT was made possible with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: working to build a more healthy, just and inclusive future for everyone.

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS member station based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas. kqed.org