What would people be willing to give up to lower rent? Share a kitchen? Or a bathroom?
A Bay Area company is banking on its concept of co-living, and a huge 18-story project is being planned for downtown San Jose.
The question is: Will it make a dent in the region's housing crisis?
Starcity already has 50 co-living units in San Francisco. Renters get their own bathroom and bedroom but must be willing to share a kitchen and living room with six to 10 people.
Starcity is now planning to build one of the world's largest co-living projects in San Jose with the hope dorm style living will pay off in the form of lower rents. The project is set to break ground on Barrett Street next year for a complex that could house about 750 people.
"We want to make a project affordable for people making $40,000 to $100,000 a year, charging rents from $1,200 to $2,000 per individual," Starcity CEO Jon Dishotsky said.
Nathan Ho, senior director of housing for Silicon Valley Leadership Group, thinks it’s a winning idea.
"I think it’s a great thing," Ho said. "We have the housing crisis in the Bay Area, and every year, we’re 100,000 short of units needed, so every tool in our toolbox can help solve the housing crisis."
Ho says while the co-living project may still be too expensive for many renters, the high-density project is offering more homes in a smaller space.
There are some trade-offs, such as sharing a dining room and kitchen with as many as 10 other people, but the company says all the common areas will be cleaned daily.