Dorm-style communal living could cut San Francisco rent in half

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A San Francisco startup thinks it has the solution to the housing crises in the Bay Area–dorm-style communal living that offers residents to cut their rent in half. 

On Monday, KRON4 met with the CEO who is behind two new large developments going up–one in San Jose and one in San Francisco. 

When they are done, they will offer more than 1,000 low-cost units. 

“Our mission is to help people stay in inner city housing who can’t afford it,” Starcity CEO Jon Dishotsky said.

Dishotsky is the CEO of Starcity, a startup bringing communal-style housing to the Bay Area as a way to offer cheaper rent. 

It’s a like a dorm. You get a private locked room with a TV, a mini, fridge, and then the common areas are shared, like the kitchen and bathrooms.

The rent is cheaper. In San Francisco, instead of $3,800 a month for a small apartment, you would do this communal living for around $2,000. 

Each home is furnished, all the bills are included, with fast Wi-Fi, and there is someone who lives in the house who cleans, so you don’t have to worry about messy roommates. 

Starcity has been successfully running four of these dorm-style living style homes in San Francisco for a year now.

So far, they have been on the smaller side–flats or houses, housing in total about 100 people. 

“People are commuting from really far or sharing a unit or paying all their salary for rent,” Dishotsky said.

Now, Starcity is looking to scale up big time. Starcity is going to develop from the ground up, housing buildings customized for this style of communal living.

One building is going up at 457 Minna St. in the South of Market area. It will offer 270 units.

These are renderings of what it will look when completed in 2019.

And a huge second development is being built at 199 Bassett St. in San Jose, which will have between 750 and 790 units.

When that opens up in 2019, it will be the largest co-living urban housing complex in the world.

“We are building vertical housing neighborhoods, share floors,” Dishotsky said.

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