A NEW type of shared housing lets interns pay $800 a month to sleep in tiny pods – and many are outraged by it.
Called Brownstone Shared Housing, the 8-month-old startup providing the living spaces is based in the Bay area of San Francisco.
Currently, the housing company hosts rentals in two California locations: Palo Alto and Bakersfield.
The Palo Alto space consists of a single-family home with three-bedroom and two bathrooms.
However, residents – which mostly comprise interns, and temporary workers in their 20s and 30s – don’t live in a room, but in miniature bunk bed pods.
What’s more, renters share the space with 13 other roommates, Insider reports.
Each pod measures around 8 feet tall and comes equipped with a curtain for privacy, a built-in fan, electrical lighting, a fold-down desk, and a charging station for electrical gadgets.
On the startup’s website, the company proclaims the tiny pods are “the future of shared housing.”
The co-founders Christina Lennox and James Stallworth also say that each pod comes with “40 percent more space than bunk beds.”
Lennox and Stallworth say they designed the living spaces as a short-term rental solution for individuals who are just starting their careers.
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Stallworth added that Brownstone’s design aims to preserve “humanity and comfort and privacy” for its occupants.
People are concerned
Once news of the housing company hit the internet, many people expressed concern and outrage.
“In short, it’s an extremely expensive prison cell — albeit one with WiFi and electrical outlets,” Victor Tangermann writes for Futurism.
Tagermann added that the pod’s rent is not “a lot cheaper per square foot than the far more conventional option of living in a, well, normal apartment.”
Similarly, several users on Reddit’s Antiwork forum called the setup inhumane.
“I’ve lived like that… on a warship,” one user wrote. “That’s not a home.”
“It’s not even a shared house, just stacked on top of each other like filing cabinets. The world is messed up. It shouldn’t be this expensive to just exist,” another user said, according to Newsweek.
The housing crisis
San Francisco’s Bay Area has been facing one of the worst housing crises in the country – with 67 percent of residents claiming that they can’t afford a home, per CBS.
When residents were asked what the most important problem facing the Bay Area right now is, 24 percent said homelessness as their first response, 21 percent listed housing, and 10 percent claimed cost of living.
According to many, the housing problems in the area stem from local and state governments’ failure to act accordingly.
“We’ve had some success in recent years in winning badly needed housing reforms, but the solutions so far just haven’t reached the scale of the problem,” council president Jim Wunderman said in a statement.
“State and local leaders must find the courage to do more, to reject misguided local resistance to housing, embrace deeper reforms and end this tragedy.”
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