The Bay Area housing crisis isn’t letting up.
With rents skyrocketing in nearly every city, everyone appears to have a solution.
Some are more attractive than others.
According to SF Gate, one local startup is trying something different.
Brownstone Shared Housing is a Palo Alto-based company offering “pod living.”
Essentially, it’s multiple isolated “bunk beds” on one floor of a house.
Each pod stands approximately 4 feet tall, 2 feet wide, and 6.5 feet long.
With a big blackout curtain for “privacy.”
Made of plywood with a steel frame, giving each a kind of DIY Ikea-style feel.
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SF Gate quotes co-founder Christina Lennox, who says she’s lived in one of the pods for the past year:
“The wood kind of allows for relaxation, rather than like going inside of this futuristic-looking plastic object… It has, like, definitely a different feel — I would say that it’s more calming and soothing for people.”
Currently, one month of rent is $800.
A far cry cheaper than the average rent in that area of Palo Alto:
Approximately $2400 for a studio apartment.
The unit highlighted in the SF Gate article is a 3-bedroom, 2 bath single-family home.
With 14 potential “pod-dwellers,” the owners stand to make a pretty nice profit.
CEO James Stallworth says:
“There’s a lot of need for housing in the Bay Area, and we’ve had a lot of interested residents and landlords reach out to us.”
California’s current occupancy limit on housing indicates that every rental property can house 2 people for every bedroom, plus one.
This rule could put a damper on Brownstone’s “pod living” plans.
Could this catch on?
Sure, living with roommates is pretty much a given, considering how expensive rent is in the Bay Area.
How attractive does sharing a space with 14 other strangers sound?
With only two bathrooms, one kitchen, and 3 feet separating you at all times.
No matter how quiet everyone is, loudness will almost always be a factor.
And that’s to say nothing of what happens when literally any problem comes up.
If a utility breaks, that’s 14 people who need to deal with the effects.
And that’s to say nothing of privacy.
You can’t cram that many people into one house without a few issues.