The cost of housing in some major cities has risen so far that some locals are stuck paying incredibly high prices for tiny rental spaces. In one city, people have resorted to renting a single bunk bed – not a bedroom – in a communal home for an astonishing $1,200 a month, and the dormitory-style living arrangements offer practically zero privacy.
PodShare says its communal living properties are designed to help offset the lack of affordable housing in certain cities. According to a report by CNN, there are six PodShare properties in the high-cost Los Angeles and San Francisco metro areas.
The company uses a membership approach to give renters access to one of the 220 beds, called “pods” by PodShare. For the rental fee, the person has access to a bed and a locker to store their belongings. Wifi, a shelf, and a television are also provided.
PodShare members can take advantage of available staple foods, like cereal, as well as toiletries – including toothpaste and toilet paper – without having to pay extra.
Members also don’t have to commit to PodShare long-term or pay a deposit, which many of the tenants appreciate.
What the PodShare bunk beds lack is any sense of privacy.
Stephen Johnson, 27, says he could afford to rent his own place in San Francisco, but prefers not being locked into a lease on a tiny, expensive apartment.
“I had a micro-studio that was $1,750 per month,” said Johnson, who’s been living at a PodShare property for five months. “It was less than 200 square feet.”
“This is actually a luxury and costs less than the place that I lived a couple blocks down the street.”
“I think anyone that’s staying in arrangements like this is just early to a new form of housing,” Johnson continued. “There’s so many different living arrangements, and I think this will just be one of the available options to everyone in the future.”
While some would call PodShare a hostel, the company prefers the term “co-living.” Even if the properties don’t offer much privacy, that doesn’t bother young professionals like 23-year-old Rayyan Zahid who has other priorities.
“What does matter is if I’m in the right place and surrounded by the right people and if it is efficient,” said Zahid, who immigrated from Pakistan.
“I was trying to find a place to rent,” he added. “But I needed to have a credit score. I needed to have my tax records. Just stuff like that. If you study here, you might have some of those things. But if you’re immigrating, you will most definitely not have those things.”