Inside shocking Silicon Valley life pods where interns pay $800 a month to ‘live like prisoners’

A NEW breed of shared apartments is charging interns $800 a month to sleep in tiny pods — and many are outraged.

The 8-month-old startup, Brownstone Shared Housing, which provides the living quarters, is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Brownstone shared housing rents out tiny pods for $800 a month


Brownstone shared housing rents out tiny pods for $800 a month

The housing company currently offers rental apartments in two locations in California: Palo Alto and Bakersfield.

The Palo Alto area consists of a three bedroom, two bathroom single family home.

However, the residents – mostly interns and temporary workers in their 20s and 30s – do not live in one room, but in small bunk beds.

The tenants also share the apartment with 13 other roommates, Insider reports.

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Each pod is approximately 2.5m high and equipped with a privacy curtain, built-in fan, electric lights, a fold-down desk and an electrical device charging station.

On the startup’s website, the company proclaims that the tiny capsules are “the future of shared living.”

Co-founders Christina Lennox and James Stallworth also say each pod offers “40 percent more space than bunk beds.”

Lennox and Stallworth said they designed the living quarters as a short-term rental solution for young professionals.

Stallworth added that brownstone’s design aims to preserve “humanity, comfort and privacy” for its residents.

People are worried

When news of the housing association broke on the Internet, many people expressed concern and outrage.

“In short, it’s an extremely expensive prison cell – albeit one with WiFi and sockets,” writes Victor Tangermann for Futurism.

Tagermann added that renting the pod isn’t “much cheaper per square foot than the far more conventional option of living in a, well, regular apartment.”

Similarly, several users on Reddit’s Antiwork forum called the setup inhumane.

“I lived like this…on a warship,” wrote one user. “This isn’t home.”

“It’s not even a shared house, just stacked on top of each other like filing cabinets. The world is messed up. It shouldn’t be that expensive just to exist,” another user said, according to Newsweek.

The housing shortage

The San Francisco Bay Area has faced one of the country’s worst housing crises — 67 percent of residents said they can’t afford a home, according to CBS.

When residents were asked what the biggest problem in the Bay Area is right now, 24 percent answered homelessness, 21 percent listed housing, and 10 percent cost of living as the first answer.

According to many, the housing problems in the area stem from a failure of local and state governments to act accordingly.

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“We’ve had some success in pushing through much-needed housing reforms in recent years, but the solutions so far simply haven’t reached the scale of the problem,” Council President Jim Wunderman said in a statement.

“State and local leaders must find the courage to do more, to reject misguided local resistance to housing, to embrace deeper reforms, and to end this tragedy.”

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Chris Barrese

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