Wednesday, January 27, 2021 12:10 am

The great American single-family home problem

Building more housing, more densely, could help address a widespread economic challenge. A fight over one lot in Berkeley, Calif., shows how tough that could be.

By Conor Dougherty | The New York Times

The house at 1310 Haskell Street does not look worthy of a bitter neighborhood war. The roof is rotting, the paint is chipping, and while the lot is long and spacious, the backyard has little beyond overgrown weeds and a garage sprouting moss.

The owner was known for hoarding junk and feeding cats, and when she died three years ago the neighbors assumed that whoever bought the house would be doing a lot of work. But when the buyer turned out to be a developer, and when that developer floated a proposal to raze the building and replace it with a trio of small homes, the neighborhood erupted in protest.

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