The Gray Area with Sean Illing

The Gray Area with host Sean Illing is a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between. We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do offer a space for real dialogue. Resist certainty, embrace ambiguity, and get some cool takes on a very hot world. Formerly the Vox Conversations podcast. New episodes drop every Monday and Thursday.


The roots of homelessness

Sean Illing talks with writer and reporter Jerusalem Demsas about the causes of homelessness in America. They discuss our ideas of home ownership, and how our country’s cultural expectations and policies are working against us. 

Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area

Guest: Jerusalem Demsas (@JerusalemDemsas) staff writer, The Atlantic


  • “The Homeownership Society Was a Mistake” by Jerusalem Demsas (The Atlantic; Dec. 20, 2022)
  • “The Obvious Answer to Homelessness and Why Everyone’s Ignoring It” by Jerusalem Demsas (The Atlantic; Dec. 12, 2022)
  • “The Billionaire’s Dilemma” by Jerusalem Demsas (The Atlantic; Aug. 4, 2022)
  • “Stuck! The Law and Economics of Residential Stagnation” by David Schleicher (Yale Law Review; Oct. 2017)
  • “Black Americans And The Racist Architecture of Homeownership” by Alisa Chang, Christopher Intagliata, and Jonaki Mehta (NPR; May 8, 2021)


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This episode was made by: 

  • Producer: Erikk Geannikis
  • Editor: Amy Drozdowska
  • Engineer: Patrick Boyd
  • Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall

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 2023-01-19  53m