Hipsters who cannot afford high San Francisco rent have a new option: $1,800 per month for a spot on a bunk bed with a stranger in a home with 30 other people in what is being called “co-creative” housing.
Local CBS affiliate in San Francisco KPIX 5 did some undercover, investigative journalism to gain access into a Victorian home located on South Van Ness Avenue that the owner has transformed into a hostel, and that is advertised on Airbnb as the Vinyasa Homes Project.
A woman named Heidi, who went undercover for the story, said she had to conduct a Skype interview before being accepted into the community.
KPIX 5 noted the pluses and minuses including a well-stocked kitchen but cluttered, shared bathrooms and tiny rooms with anywhere between two to four people living in close quarters.
“I think it is just one of those, I need to get to the city and this is going to be the first stop. And then I’ll find something else,” Heidi said of the living quarters.
Last year, the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in the nearby Mission District was $3,250, according to Business Insider.
Rosemary Bosque of the San Francisco Building Department said her department is not permitted to inspect the rooms unless they receive a complaint from within the housing facility and so far they have yet to receive one. “Whenever we do an inspection, it’s a consensual inspection,” Bosque told KPIX 5.
Scott Sanchez with the S.F. Planning Department told KPIX 5 that the city is investigating an active complaint on that property. However, Sanchez explained the challenge of applying the appropriate civil housing code to the property, due to the fact that it is advertised on Airbnb as requiring a minimum 30-night stay, which automatically makes it residential.
(That lies outside a recently-imposed ordinance by Mayor Ed Lee that officially permits short-term housing of less than 30 days–a move that was seen as a huge win for Airbnb, which largely caters to short-term housing and rentals.)
KPIX reportedly found out that the Victorian on South Van Ness Avenue is just one of several hostels that are owned by Vinyasa Homes. The business is quite lucrative, too, as the landlord that owns the building is reportedly making tens of thousands of dollars monthly off of the rentals.
On social media, users who got wind of the high-ticket price associated with living in sub-standard conditions weighed in:
— Jeff Hauschild (@jeff_hauschild) September 10, 2015
— Dr. Shirley & Steve (@ShirleyandSteve) September 10, 2015
if i HAVE TO roommate it, i need a private bedroom & bathroom for $1800/mo. San Francisco’s housing market is crazy http://t.co/9Y4Yu6ZKUN
— ProducerGirl (@shamelessplugLA) September 10, 2015