Thursday, July 25

What is your living situation? We want to hear from you.

“No society can be fully understood apart from the residences of its members.”

I have that quote (from “Crabgrass Frontier,” the seminal history of the American suburbs) taped to the wall behind my desk. It sums up why I love covering housing for the New York Times and never seems to run out of things to write about. Accommodation is everything. It’s where we live and raise our families. It is the greatest store of wealth for most people. Whether you own, rent, or sleep outside, where you lay your head defines much of your existence.

In recent decades, and especially after the pandemic, the real estate sector has gone from a symbol of American strength to an everyday crisis. Aspiring homeowners are becoming lifelong renters. People are living in increasingly crowded households, the supply of illegal housing has increased and homeless camps have multiplied. People are fleeing expensive states for cheaper ones, which in turn has created housing problems in the cities where they end up.

There have also been new opportunities: the rise of home offices has allowed many people to move into cheaper property markets and has prompted a number of families to leave their 9-to-5 jobs and redevelop property or become landlords. In California and elsewhere, the legalization of backyard homes has inspired a number of homeowners to become developers by creating small rental units on their properties.

Over the past few years, I’ve covered virtually every aspect of America’s housing crisis, from public officials trying to address it in state homes to the people living with its consequences. I write about tenants and landlords, about developers and environmentalists, about public and private construction, even about trying to build a new city from scratch.

My stories vary in topic and come from across the country, but the common thread is that they are rooted in the stories of the people and places that create them. That’s why I want to hear your opinion. I want to know what kind of housing pressures you are facing and how they have affected your life, your family, your friendships and your community. And I want to know what stories or topics you think need more attention. The articles I write are inspired by the stories people tell me.

I have read all the contributions. I also always follow up to ask additional questions and make sure I have the right facts before I post anything. I will not publish anything without your explicit permission and I will not use your contact information for any other purpose or share it outside of the newsroom. If you would like to submit information anonymously, please visit our suggestions page.