11 episodes

Housing blight — concentrated areas of vacant properties in cities, rural areas and suburbs — is associated with everything from poverty to crime to health disparities. But governments seem powerless to turn it around. We're finding out why. A special 10-part podcast series by American Banker.

Nobody's Home American Banker

    • Business News

Housing blight — concentrated areas of vacant properties in cities, rural areas and suburbs — is associated with everything from poverty to crime to health disparities. But governments seem powerless to turn it around. We're finding out why. A special 10-part podcast series by American Banker.

    Ep. 10: Starfish Solutions: What can we do if we try?

    Ep. 10: Starfish Solutions: What can we do if we try?

    In the series finale, we examine how to get people who aren’t directly affected by vacant housing to care about finding a solution. How do you focus policymakers on a problem with so many different moving parts?

    • 30 min
    Ep. 9: Marshall Plan: How to Fix Vacant Housing

    Ep. 9: Marshall Plan: How to Fix Vacant Housing

    If housing blight costs money, renovating vacant housing and creating new affordable housing also costs money. Where might that investment come from? An examination of community land trusts and the Community Reinvestment Act.

    • 44 min
    Ep. 8: Sweat Equity: What Does it Cost to Build a Home?

    Ep. 8: Sweat Equity: What Does it Cost to Build a Home?

    The crisis in affordable housing has its roots in the high cost of building entry-level single-family homes. But why does it cost so much to build a house? And what did previous generations do to build affordable housing?

    • 23 min
    Ep. 7: "You're either growing or you're dying"

    Ep. 7: "You're either growing or you're dying"

    Small towns across the country struggle with vacant housing as much as cities, even though some of those places have plenty of jobs. Geography and a declining population lead rural communities to make hard choices that often play themselves out in unexpected ways. 

    • 35 min
    Ep.6: The New Blue Collar Job

    Ep.6: The New Blue Collar Job

    People need jobs to afford housing, but how can cities attract more jobs to places that need them the most? And what happens to a neighborhood when drug activity and crime move in after blue-collar jobs move out?

    • 33 min
    Ep. 5: The American Dream: Is Homeownership Really the Answer?

    Ep. 5: The American Dream: Is Homeownership Really the Answer?

    The 2008 financial crisis nearly destroyed the global economy, and was driven by an asset bubble in what has been among the most secure financial products: the home mortgage. Can policymakers expand homeownership without endangering the financial system? Should they?

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

D from DC121 ,

Amazing reporting on a big social problem

Check this podcast out! It features really solid reporting and narration by John Heltman, who digs into a problem that gets way too little attention.

UnabductedinRoswell ,

I learned and enjoyed

Crack reporting on a badly overlooked phenomenon. Living in a blighted semi-rural area, I’ve been baffled by the combination of a lack of affordable housing alongside widespread abandoned homes. This podcast shed a lot of light on the forces that produce this outcome. The broad, systemic perspective Heltman provides is nicely offset by the anecdotes and personal experiences of the people he interviews.

Baltimore Transplant ,

Refreshing

It’s refreshing to know that someone cares about going in depth with such a topic. Living in Baltimore for 11 years and experiencing life there, I didn’t understand a lot. This podcast is very enlightening.

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