To save money in expensive cities like Los Angeles, renters have long subdivided apartments, willing to sacrifice comfort in order to find a decent place to live. Now, a cottage industry has taken that necessity to an extreme.
Bunk beds, “sleeping pods,” and temporary room partitions are becoming popular with landlords and renters amid California’s tight and pricey housing market, according to the Los Angeles Times. Some renters will even squeeze into a space if the building comes with attractive amenities.
The number of people per housing unit has been on the decline nationally, but in California the rate has increased from 2.79 per unit in 1990 to 2.97 this year. Median rents in L.A. County are around $2,442 per month, compared to the national median of $1,553 per month.
San Francisco-based company HomeShare contracts with landlords to match residents with people looking for partitioned rooms, and rents out partitions. The company will also transfer residents to other units if things don’t go well with roommates. Customers pay a monthly fee for the service.
Christopher Cacho, a recent graduate who recently moved to L.A., went through HomeShare and now pays $950 a month for a an 11-foot by 8-foot space in a Glendale apartment building, according to the Times. In his case, he opted for the smaller space in exchange for the building’s amenities.
The firm Up(st)art, signs multiyear leases for houses, then outfits them with amenities for artists, and adds bunk beds or sleeping pods, starting at $700 a month. That includes acting and dancing classes, as well as use of in-home music recording and photo studios. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch