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Overpriced, Overwhelmed, Over it! Investigating California's Crazy Housing

A New Streaming Series on the Golden State's Housing Crisis. Watch the First Episode May 24th

Investigative Unit

The Bay Area’s and California’s housing crisis is crazy. Shacks are selling for millions. Investors are paying all cash for homes that could go to family buyers. And generations of communities are getting priced out. Through a series of streaming reports, NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit reveals its year-long investigation into The Golden State’s overpriced housing market that's leaving so many Californians overwhelmed and over it.

Stream the episodes HERE on May 24th, 2022.

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THE ISSUES WE’RE INVESTIGATING: 

What role do real estate investors play in the housing crisis?

Sure, real estate investors get a bad rap. But some investors tell our investigative team they add value to neighborhoods. Many neighbors and tenants impacted by these developments disagree saying investors drive up prices and expedite gentrification. In the process of investigating whether real estate investors contribute to the housing crisis, NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit uncovered a growing members-only club of investors who have exclusive access to housing listings that aren't easily available to the average homebuyer.

Some small landlords say they’re never renting out again. Will your rent go up?

Do you remember the first apartment where you could afford the rent on your own? There’s a good chance it was operated by a small landlord, not a corporate real estate company. Small landlords make up a surprisingly large percentage of California’s naturally affordable housing according to Terner Center researchers; and yet some tell NBC Bay Area COVID and heavy-handed government policies are squeezing them —and their housing — out.

The frustrating reason California can’t build enough affordable housing.

While campaigning for Governor of California, Gavin Newsom pledged to build 3.5 million new housing units. So how is that pledge going? NBC Bay Area identified hundreds of empty lots and construction space that could provide tens of thousands of affordable units. Instead, they continue to sit unused. We speak to the developers behind these projects and interview California’s state treasurer.

Renters surprised they’re paying market rate for apartments built with taxpayer-backed loans meant for affordable rentals.

How would you feel if you learned your market-rate apartment unit was built using taxpayer-backed loans to create affordable housing? It’s all legal but surprised many current renters. NBC Bay Area goes back in time to explain how this all unfolded and the solutions the federal government has come up with to prevent it from happening again.

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