Recent Press

Planet Money: Episode 856: Yes In My Backyard

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 ...


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A New Solution For Rents That Are Too Damn High

Housing costs have bedeviled cities and towns for years, but the problem is fast becoming a crisis—especially in places driving America’s economic growth, like San Francisco and Boston. Since 2011, home prices nationwide have risen more than twice as fast as household incomes. When taxpayers have to subsidize rents just so city employees can live where they work and Facebook starts getting into the homebuilding business, something isn...


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‘Homes for human beings’: Millennial-driven anti-NIMBY movement is winning with a simple message

In California, there is a new lobby for renters — market-rate renters.

California’s unprecedented housing crisis has ushered a new power player onto the scene with a supply-and-demand message so succinct it could fit on a T-shirt: Build more homes.

Meet the YIMBYs, a network of pro-development, tech-funded, ‘Yes-In-My-Backyard’ organizations cropping up throughout the Bay Area and beyond to counter the sentime...


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NIMBYs watch out — YIMBY leader Sonja Trauss seeks political office

Pro-housing YIMBY activist Sonja Trauss runs for political office in San Francisco.

The YIMBY movement began as an activist movement in San Francisco, where housing, as in Los Angeles, has become prohibitively expensive. Last week the movement won a signature victory: Governor Jerry Brown signed 15 bills intended to enable the construction of new housing in California.

Now one of the founding YIMBYs is getting...


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“I agree with Senator Wiener. Being pro-housing is Progressive.” -- Sonja Trauss


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“We're going to change zoning laws to make it easier to build housing.” -- Sonja Trauss.


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"Lafayette hardly has any apartments. So, we sued because that is a violation of the Housing Accountability Act.” -- Sonja Trauss.


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“If you don’t have enough homes, why not build new ones?” -- Sonja Trauss.


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Listen to Sonja discuss how city planners can create safer public places.


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