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AirTalk special: Leaving California in search of cheaper housing

A reduced sign advertises a home sale in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles, California.
A reduced sign advertises a home sale in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles, California.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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The California Dream, once encapsulated by the get-rich-quick ethos of the Gold Rush, has become a more nebulous umbrella term for the pursuit of sun, social mobility and fame.

Nowadays, California is experiencing impressive growth. Unemployment is at a historic low. But the attractiveness of California creates a very basic economics problem: more demand than supply. This is perhaps most apparently illustrated by skyrocketing housing costs, which have displaced Californians to peripheral states, like Arizona, Nevada and Washington. This has led to a slowing down of California’s population growth, and many of the people choosing to leave are “equity refugees” who’ve foregone the California Dream for larger, cheaper housing in another state.

AirTalk brings you a special collaboration with KNPR’s public affairs show, State of Nevada, looking at how the high cost of living is driving people out of California in search of a better life in other cities, including cities like Las Vegas.

Did you move here for the California Dream and how has the state lived up to your expectations? If you are a Californian who left the state for cheaper housing, tell us why and what trade offs went into your decision.

Call us at 866-893-5722.


Joe Schoenmann, host and senior producer of State of Nevada, the daily talk show on KNPR, our sister affiliate in Las Vegas, Nev.; he tweets @joedowntownlv

Adam J. Fowler, director of research at Beacon Economics, a Los Angeles-based independent research and consulting firm, specializing in economic analysis and revenue forecasting; he led a study coming out Thursday looking at the impact of California’s housing crisis on migration and employment.

Matt Levin, reporter covering housing for the nonprofit news site, CALmatters, and for the California Dream project, a reporting collaboration between KPCC and other news organizations across the state

Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, a think tank in Houston; he is the author of “The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us” (Agate B2, 2016)

Gia DeSantis, DJ at NV89, Nevada Public Radio’s music station that focuses on alternative music