It’s time to fix this thing.

The lack of affordable housing is a drag on the economy and the reason California has America’s worst poverty rate. It’s driving some workers out of state and some into homelessness. For young professionals, it’s just depressing. In this live version of our Gimme Shelter podcast co-hosts Matt Levin of CalMatters and Liam Dillon of the Los Angeles Times get answers from leaders in government, industry and philanthropy. This is part of the CalMatters PolicyMatters event series. Register for the event here.


Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019

11:30 a.m. – Box Lunch Available

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Live Broadcast


  • Libby Schaaf – Mayor, City of Oakland
  • Candice Gonzalez – Chief Housing Officer, Sand Hill Property Co.
  • Margot Kushel, MD – Director, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations and UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative


Libby Schaaf is the Mayor of Oakland and a former Oakland City Council member. She developed Oakland’s “17K/17K Plan” to protect 17,000 low-income households from displacement while producing 17,000 new housing units by 2024.

Margot Kushel is director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations and UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative. She is a clinician and professor of medicine at the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of homelessness and housing instability.

Candice Gonzalez is the Chief Housing Officer for Sand Hill Property Company and oversees its residential developments, including mixed-use, mixed-income, and 100% affordable housing. Previously she was president and CEO of Palo Alto Housing.

About CalMatters

CalMatters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest journalism organization focused on California state politics and policy. Our mission is to fill the void in state government coverage caused by the decline of traditional journalism organizations and to improve California’s democracy by increasing government transparency, holding politicians accountable, and empowering Californians to participate meaningfully in their own governance. We do that by informing and engaging Californians about state government and public policy that affects their lives, with a focus on education, environment, economy, health and the environment. We are a trusted brand reaching an engaged and influential audience across the state. We distribute our work to 180+ media partners, on our own website,, and on Apple News and SmartNews.

About “Gimme Shelter” 

“Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast” is a biweekly podcast devoted to California housing politics and policy. It is the only podcast devoted to covering California’s housing affordability crisis from a statewide perspective. Matt Levin, data and housing reporter for CalMatters, and Liam Dillon, housing and state government reporter for the Los Angeles Times, launched the podcast in August 2017. The hour-long podcast features discussion and analysis of California housing issues, as well as interviews with key housing newsmakers. Past guests have included State Senator Scott Wiener and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. The podcast has had more than 135,000 plays.


Matt Levin is CalMatters data and housing reporter. His award-winning housing and data reporting has been featured on Marketplace, NPR’s Here & Now, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Levin is a former research associate for the Public Policy Institute of California, where he specialized in quantitative analysis of poverty and social policy. 

Liam Dillon covers housing and California state politics and policy for the Los Angeles Times. Prior to joining The Times in 2016, Dillon covered local politics in San Diego and Southwest Florida. 

Here’s what some listeners have said:

“Thanks for reporting local and statewide housing legislation. It has made me a better citizen.”

“It’s a great primer on housing policy and the latest solutions proposed to fix affordability. California-specific but lessons learned apply globally.”

“Whether you work in housing or development, or you’re just interested in learning about the issue, this is the place.”

Excellent podcast that covers all the bases of housing issues in California. Best way to keep up with current legislation, local politics and the overall housing/urban dialogue while bringing forward different perspectives.”

Listen to Gimmme Shelter here. Subscribe on StitcherApple PodcastsSoundCloudGoogle Play, Overcast, or Spotify.

Read more about the housing crisis

Register for the event here.

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Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? You can find our submission guidelines here. Please contact CalMatters with any commentary questions: