Funky housing options for hip/rad people
Dec 2010 10

If you like the idea of living with 29 other young, hip, urban people (who may or may not shower or have jobs …) then I have just the thing for you.

Going by different names including “group residences” the idea is that a bunch of “kids” rent out an apartment or a whole building and then break it up into individual bedrooms.

This seems to be popular in San Francisco, according to the Wall Street Journal. One group rented out a 7,000 square foot space and built it out to their liking:

Today, it holds nine bedrooms and a recording studio, disk-jockey station and central gathering space, complete with a second-story deck and jungle gym. The group now numbers around 17 residents, who expanded into a former photography studio across the street. Residents pay a total monthly rent of $10,900 for both spaces.

While it might sound like utopia, at first, it seems like a nightmare to me. I get the feeling you have to be a certain type of person to want to live like this – and I was never that type of person, no matter how hard I tried.

The City of San Francisco seems to be looking the other way on this type of housing arrangement, even though everyone agrees that the units don’t meet housing and zoning codes. It appears that much of the interior build-outs were done haphazardly (and, presumably, without any building permits).

One nasty fire in a place like this, however, and I imagine they’ll pay closer attention.

I’ve never heard of this type of arrangement in Boston. If it does, I don’t think it’s very popular. In concept, the idea of breaking up rents into manageable pieces seems practical but the logistics would be hard to manage. Plus, there just aren’t that many places available that would support this type of housing.

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