The Times podcast: How Los Angeles got so overcrowded

A postcard shows a single-story house, gardens and farmland, with the words "'A Little Land and a Living' in California."
The promise of land has always been a big draw to people who move to California.
(From the collection of Patt Morrison)

Los Angeles for decades advertised itself as an American Eden. But it ignored repeated warnings about the consequences of overcrowding on the working class. Now, when the situation is worse than ever, calls to fix it continue to go nowhere.

Today, we talk about an L.A. Times analysis that found that more people are squeezing into fewer rooms in L.A. than any other large county in America. And it’s been a disaster for public health, even before COVID-19 began to spread. Read the full transcript here.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times housing reporter Liam Dillon and features reporter Brittny Mejia

More reading:

Packed In: Overcrowded housing in Los Angeles has brought death by design

L.A.’s love of sprawl made it America’s most overcrowded place. The poor pay a deadly price

One family’s desperate act to escape overcrowding

About The Times

“The Times” is produced by Shannon Lin, Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistant is Madalyn Amato. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera, Heba Elorbany and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen.