Crazy Things People Are Doing to Survive San Francisco’s Housing Epidemic

April 15, 2016

We all know that the cost of living in San Francisco has been extremely high for a while now. However, the housing crisis in this area has reached epic proportions. According to Business Insider, the average house price in San Francisco was six times higher than the average price of existing homes throughout the U.S. The chart below shows the spikes in house pricing in San Francisco and the contrast of change between San Francisco housing prices, California house prices and U.S. house prices.

This housing flyer will give you a better idea of the how crazy the rental pricing is in this city. Many people still want to live in this beautiful city but can’t afford to pay such high rent so they’ve started getting really creative.

Here are some crazy things people are doing to keep living in San Francisco.

Multi-Purpose Truck

Brandon, a 23-year old Google employee, decided to live in a 128-square-foot truck stationed in the companies parking lot instead of spending crazy amounts of money to pay his rent. He claims that he saves about 90% of his income by living in this make-shift shack.

Another Google employee, Pete D’Andrea spent nearly two years living in a van parked in the company’s parking lot as well along with his wife, Kara. They both were able to save 80% of their take-home pay, and now they own a house in the Santa Cruz Mountains.


Some people such as Sarah Carter, a 23-year-old employee of an e-commerce company, are actually living on boats. Carter bought her own boat on Craigslist and now lives there spending only about $350 a month in total living expenses.

Living Room Living Pod

If you want to get a little more creative, just build your own living space inside someone else’s house like Peter Berkowitz. Berkowitz is a 25-year-old illustrator that build a pod in the corner of his roommate’s living room, and now pays only about $400 a month to live in this box.

Shipping Container Homes 

A 31-year-old Wharton grad named Luke Iseman came up with a business that targets people seeking affordable housing. He is basically helping people stay in San Francisco by (illegally) getting them to live in converted shipping containers for $1,000 a month.

When people are taking such drastic measures including living in trucks and boats, and illegally turn a large box into their home, you know there’s a really big problem with house pricing.

Source: Business Insider
Contributor: Smruthi