The housing crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area has gotten so bad that one startup is now offering renters the chance to live in a “bunk bed pod” with 13 other people for just $800 a month.
Brownstone Shared Housing posted an ad for anyone looking to live in Palo Alto, the birthplace of Silicon Valley and the home of Stanford University.
Tenants are given the opportunity to shack up in a house with 13 other people. They sleep in a “bunk bed pod” while sharing two bathrooms.
The pods are “fully equipped” with electrical outlets, shelves for books, a rack from which one can hang clothes and laundry, hooks to hang plants and other decorations, and black curtains at the end of each pod for privacy.
Normally, the three-bedroom home would house a single family.
The startup is also advertising “co-living” spaces in another home — this one in Bakersfield. The home offers a pod for $500 a month alongside five other residents.
Brownstone Shared Housing, like another California-based company PodShare, offers “flexible month-to-month leases” with no security deposit.
Christina Lennon, who co-founded the startup, lived in a similar pod herself for the past year.
“The wood kind of allows for relaxation, rather than like going inside of this futuristic-looking plastic object,” she told Business Insider.
“It has, like, definitely a different feel — I would say that it’s more calming and soothing for people.”
James Stallworth, the CEO of the company, told SFGATE that there are plans to expand operations in the Bay Area.
“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.”
Internet users reacted negatively to posts shared about the pods. One Reddit user called it a “dystopian future we’ve all been asking for.”
Another Reddit user commented: “I’ve lived like that….on a warship.”
Palo Alto has become one of America’s most expensive cities to live in. According to the site RentCafe, the average cost of renting an 881-square-foot apartment in the city was $3,468 a month as of February.
That’s well above the national average of $1,628 a month.
California is suffering from a severe housing shortage caused by zoning laws that prevent municipalities from building a sufficient number of high-density residences like duplexes or apartment buildings.
In March, the University of California, Berkeley, announced that it would cap student enrollment after irate neighbors filed a lawsuit preventing the school from building campus housing to accommodate incoming freshmen.
The statewide housing crisis in California has also led to a surge in the number of homeless people living on the streets.