- San Francisco residents are continually finding new ways to deal with an affordable housing shortage.
- Starcity is a coliving startup that offers housing to middle-class earners who make less than $90,000 a year.
- Members pay between
Rent and home prices are so high in San Francisco that even non-tech, middle-class workers are moving into dorms.
In a recent New York Times story, reporter Nellie Bowles says "the middle-class backbone of San Francisco — maitre d's, teachers, bookstore managers, lounge musicians, copywriters, and merchandise planners" are growing more and more comfortable with the idea of community housing, a housing solution largely pioneered by the Bay Area tech crowd.
The trade-off of having a private room, but sharing a bathroom with at least one other person and a kitchen with many, is primarily financial — at least at first.
Starcity members pay between$1,900 less than the average renter in San Francisco — for a fully-furnished with utilities and Wi-Fi included, reports Bowles.
Building managers ensure everything runs smoothly for members, restocking bathroom and kitchen supplies and planning community events. They even offer extra services, like laundry for $40 a month and bedroom cleaning for $130 a week.
Coliving isn't new, but it's becoming increasingly common in expensive cities across the US. Robinson has previously reported on the popularity of coliving in the Bay Area, like the "hacker house," a group-living building geared toward early-stage entrepreneurs. There are also WeLive apartments, owned by the coworking company WeWork, in New York City and Washington DC.
For the typical workerin San Francisco, buying a home is out of the question. The salary needed to qualify for a mortgage with 20% down is now $96,677. Some companies won't even hire employees in San Francisco because it's too expensive to pay them a living wage.