SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America
SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America
About SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America
Growing up in California's Sierra Nevada foothills, wildfire has always been part of Sold Out host Erin Baldassari’s consciousness. Her earliest memory is fleeing a fire as it bore down on her childhood home. At the time, it was the state’s third largest wildfire, but now it doesn’t even rank in the top 20. As she considers moving back, she explores what it means to live in an area with known and pronounced climate risk. The question for all of us on the frontlines of climate change is: how do we adapt when our memories of a place are constantly clashing with new realities?
Sea Change is a podcast from WWNO and WRKF in Louisiana that dives deep into the environmental issues facing coastal communities on the Gulf Coast and beyond. When we talk about climate change, we hear one word all the time: resilient. We use it to talk about everything from our houses, to our power grid, to ourselves. In this episode of Sea Change, we asked our listeners what they think about this word, and we got some very strong reactions. And, we ask the question: how can we address both the physical forces of climate change and the broken social systems that make it an even greater threat? We hear stories about efforts from across the Gulf Coast – from storm-proofing homes to creating neighborhood disaster response groups – to help keep people from needing to be resilient in the first place.
When a flood or fire swallows someone’s home, insurance can provide some stability, and prevent a plunge into poverty. But as insurance companies pull out of California that promise is melting away. In this episode we discover what happens to home insurance as wildfires get worse and what we can do to improve the outlook. And we meet two families living with the consequences of this uncertain future.
What if there was a way that California could build the housing it needs and drastically cut carbon emissions at the same time? City planners and environmentalists say this unicorn does exist: transit-oriented housing. It sounds great in theory, but in practice, it’s more complicated. This episode explores how one California city, built around cars, is trying to create a different future. We’ll examine how the perfect solution for climate change forces us to rethink the American dream of the detached single family home and the SUV.
A quarter of California’s carbon emissions come from homes and buildings -- from the appliances we use to keep ourselves warm and our families fed. Replacing gas powered appliances with electric ones is one way to make a big impact, but the process is slow and expensive. We head to a neighborhood in Oakland that is taking a revolutionary approach to reducing their emissions: by electrifying together, all at once. We talk to the gung ho enthusiasts and the holdouts and explore the roadblocks to success.
Whether it’s severe heat, fires, or floods, people experiencing homelessness are on the bleeding edge of the climate emergency. We follow the story of one woman who is trying to keep herself and her adult son alive on the blistering streets of Fresno, California. We hear from advocates pushing lawmakers to find solutions, and creating their own. And ask, how is climate change forcing us to rethink our response to homelessness?
Climate change is intensifying wet periods across California - untaming waterways humans corralled with dirt and concrete. When the river comes for your town, what do you do, how do you adapt? Is abandoning life in the floodplain the only real option? We follow the Escutia family, starting on the night that a flood swallowed their hometown, and for months afterward, as they searched for an affordable home on higher ground.
What are your biggest ideas on how to solve the housing crisis? How has housing impacted/shaped your life? Throughout this season, we wanted to hear from you – the SOLD OUT audience. We asked you to get in touch, and you came through! Through voice memos, email and social media, dozens of listeners reached out and shared stories of housing insecurity and loss, advocacy work, and visions for an equitable housing future. In this bonus episode, we hear from seven people for whom housing is at the center of everything. Still want to contact the show? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The number one reason people are evicted is falling behind on rent. So how do you keep that from happening in the first place? In the final chapter in our series on evictions, we look at Section 8; the promise, the problems, and the history. And the push for guaranteed income – because if the rent is out of reach, maybe the solution is to help pay it. Read the episode transcript here.
Step into an eviction court and you’ll likely see it: most landlords have attorneys while tenants do not. Eviction cases move quickly, and representation can be the thing that balances the scale — making it easier for people to understand their rights and to navigate the complex system. From New York to California’s Central Valley, tenants are fed up and demanding the right to counsel. It’s a movement that has gained more attention in the wake of the pandemic, and in the face of rising rents. Today, we go to court. Read the episode transcript here.
The decision to evict someone can affect them and their ability to find stable housing for years. It’s a decision that gives landlords a lot of power. We explore when and why landlords decide to evict. And look at the shift in property owners in recent years, from small “mom and pop” owners, towards more investors and corporations, and what that means for tenants and our housing system. Read the episode transcript here.
Evictions do not affect everyone equally. Millions of renters in this country have struggled to make rent after losing income during the pandemic. And Black renters, particularly Black women, are more likely to be evicted than white renters. Jean Kendrick and her son were evicted during the early days of the pandemic. We follow their journey to find affordable housing, while examining what’s driving these disparities in evictions – including generations of racist housing policies and predatory home lending practices. Read the transcript here.
The place with the highest eviction rate in the Bay Area during the pandemic wasn't a big city like Oakland or San Francisco — instead it was a suburb that has been radically transformed by housing crisis after housing crisis. Antioch, a city on the outskirts of the Bay has been a destination for people looking for affordable housing. But now it’s at the center of a growing eviction crisis. In the first episode of our second season, we visit a neighborhood in Antioch where it seems everyone you meet has an eviction story. Read the transcript here.
During the pandemic, a safe home has been more important than ever. At the same time, millions of people have found themselves on the edge of eviction. Thanks to eviction moratoriums and billions of dollars in rent relief, the feared waves of evictions never arrived. But those efforts were only temporary, a bandaid on our affordability crisis. And the low income people who have suffered the most during the pandemic could face eviction once again. In the second season of SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America, we’re taking a deep look into evictions — how they happen, who they impact, and possible solutions to a system deeply entwined in our country’s discriminatory housing policies. The first episode of the season comes out on Monday, February 14, 2022.
The pandemic brought millions of people to the edge of losing their housing. And it sparked a national conversation about the connection between housing and health, and the lasting impacts of evictions. In advance of a new season of SOLD OUT, which will focus on the system of evictions, the team held a live event at KQED’s San Francisco headquarters with Tim Thomas, of the Urban Displacement Project at UC Berkeley, Anne Tamiko Omura, from the Eviction Defense Center, and Krista Gulbransen of Berkeley Rental Housing Coalition. Listen to the live recording for a conversation about evictions, the pandemic, and some possible solutions. Got a story you want to share with the SOLD OUT team? Email us or send us a voice memo to email@example.com. Or leave us a voicemail at 415-553-3308.
Every year, at least 3.7 million evictions are filed in the United States. And during the pandemic, millions more renters suddenly found themselves on the precipice of eviction — prompting unprecedented tenant protections and nearly $50 billion in rental assistance. SOLD OUT is coming back in February of 2022, with a five-part series that’s all about evictions. But before that, hosts Erin Baldassari and Molly Solomon are hosting a live event discussing evictions, rental assistance and what the pandemic revealed about our housing crisis. They will be joined by Tim Thomas, (Urban Displacement Project), Anne Tamiko Omura (Eviction Defense Center), and Krista Gulbransen (Berkeley Rental Housing Coalition). Join us for the free event in San Francisco on November 13 at 4pm PDT. Catch the livestream on KQED’s YouTube, or keep an eye out on our podcast feed — you’ll be able to hear the event right here. Got your own housing story to tell? We’ll have a producer on-site to help you record your story. Or you can call us at 415-553-3308 and leave us a voice message. RSVP and find out more about the November 13 event here: https://bit.ly/3jgHL8Q
A LOT has happened since we brought you SOLD OUT, our five-part series which dove into solutions to the country's growing housing affordability crisis. We received tons of comments and questions from listeners, so we decided to sit down and answer some of them, and bring you an update episode. Got a question for us? Get in touch on Twitter at @e_baldi or @solomonout. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Episode transcript here.
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: https://bit.ly/35Jir3P
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: https://bit.ly/34cVbfe