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KQED’s SOLD OUT Podcast Explores the Precarious Intersection of the Housing and Climate Crises

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SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America

Season Three Launches Today

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-October 16, 2023 — Record-breaking temperatures across the country. Wildfires in the Northeast. Urban tornadoes and inland hurricanes. The effects of climate change are intensifying, producing unpredictable climate events in areas previously thought to be less susceptible. Meanwhile the housing crisis has made owning or renting a home increasingly difficult, or worse, unattainable for an ever-growing segment of the population. How do we protect the most vulnerable people who lack adequate housing from climate disasters? How do homeowners and renters deal with escalating insurance premiums? And how are our homes themselves contributing to our climate problems? 

In the third season of the SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America podcast, KQED’s Climate and Housing Affordability desks examine the intersection of the climate and housing crises. Hosted by Erin Baldassari, the series tells the stories of families and communities that are grappling with the ways that climate is challenging our very idea of home, and our ability to live there. SOLD OUT shines a light on the solutions that can help us all face the future, highlighting the people who are actively working to protect their communities. It questions assumptions that dictate how and where people live, while examining the barriers – whether political, financial or social – that hold us back from embracing or realizing change.

Denia Escutia, 18, in her mud-coated home in Pajaro, California, a few weeks after a levee breach flooded the area.
Denia Escutia, 18, in her mud-coated home in Pajaro, California, a few weeks after a levee breach flooded the area. (Kori Suzuki)

The new six-episode season kicks off today, October 16, with the story of the Escutias, a family in the small town of Pajaro, along the Monterey California coast, who must look for a new home on higher ground after a levee breach forces them to abandon their home. Other episodes will explore the collision of the homeless and climate crises; how we can reduce emissions that emanate from our homes, buildings and appliances; the intriguing, yet complicated concept of transit-oriented housing; and the trade-offs we are willing to make by living in areas more prone to climate disaster.

The new season features contributions from climate reporters Ezra David Romero, Laura Klivens, and Danielle Venton; and housing reporters Vanessa Rancaño and Adhiti Bandlamudi. Erika Kelly and Kevin Stark edited the show, and Jen Chien is contributing editor. Brendan Willard is sound engineer and the theme song is by Cedric Wilson.


New episodes of SOLD OUT drop every Monday, starting today through November 20. Start listening by searching for “SOLD OUT” wherever you get your podcasts, or visit  kqed.org/soldout.

About the Host
Erin Baldassari covers housing for KQED. She’s a former print journalist, previously working as the transportation reporter for the Mercury News and East Bay Times. There, she focused on how the Bay Area’s housing shortage has changed the way people move around the region. She also served on the East Bay Times’ 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning team for coverage of the Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland. Prior to that, Erin worked as a breaking news and general assignment reporter for a variety of outlets in the Bay Area and the greater Boston area. Erin grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and in Sonoma County. 

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate 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. www.kqed.org

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