California’s chronic housing shortage explained

At its best, journalism shines a light on important issues in the hope that a more informed public will pressure officials to confront and resolve them.

California’s chronic housing shortage is one such problem, and two very recent articles, one in the Los Angeles Times and one in the New York Times, delve into how the crisis has developed and why it is extraordinarily difficult to solve.

The Los Angeles Times details its city’s history of encouraging sprawling family neighborhoods while packing the poor into gated neighborhoods where deadly diseases like COVID-19 run rampant.

It begins with the death of Leonard Miranda, “who rented a shed and shared the kitchen, bathroom and dining room in the main house.”

After COVID-19 attacked Miranda, “it spread to a man sleeping on three red pillows in the laundry room. Then to the grandfather and grandson, who wedged two mattresses into one room. By the time COVID-19 ended the three-bedroom house the eight shared, Miranda and the grandfather were dead.

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