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‘Gimme Shelter’: How wildfires ravaging California make its housing crisis harder to solve

Rubble of Paradise Community Village, an affordable apartment complex  in Paradise, Calif., destroyed by the 2018 Camp fire
Rubble of Paradise Community Village, an affordable apartment complex in Paradise, Calif., that was destroyed by the Camp fire in 2018.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Two years ago, Paradise Community Village, an affordable housing complex in Paradise, burned down when the Camp fire devastated the town.

Earlier this month, developers were set to hold a groundbreaking to rebuild the complex when thick smoke from a nearby wildfire canceled the event.

The story reveals the stark challenges facing California as it deals with a housing affordability crisis at the same time that climate change-driven wildfires put more of California’s land at risk of burning. On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we discuss how more frequent and more destructive wildfires are making it harder for the state to address its housing problems and how Gov. Gavin Newsom and other elected officials might react.

Our guest is Seana O’Shaughnessy, president and chief executive of Community Housing Improvement Program, the nonprofit developer behind Paradise Community Village. We discuss why the firm decided to rebuild the project and how they are planning to make it more safe for residents.

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Gimme Shelter,”a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times, and Matt Levin, data and housing reporter for CalMatters.

You can subscribe to “Gimme Shelter” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Google Play and Overcast.


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