A California startup is offering cocoon-like pods to allow 14 residents to share a single house as an escape from soaring rents and real estate prices

Brownstone Shared Housing has two locations: the first is just minutes away from Stanford University in Palo Alto and houses 14, while the second sleeps 6 in central Bakersfield.

“We started with how can we house as many people as possible in an existing space in a way that preserves dignity and comfort and privacy,” CEO James Stallworth, who co-founded the self-financed Brownstone with Christina Lennox, said in an interview with Insider.

Both houses are fully furnished with shared co-working and living spaces, along with two bathrooms and a shared kitchen.

What makes the concept different is the “fully equipped” sleeping pods that the company says are 40% larger than a traditional bunk bed.

At $800 per month, which includes utilities, the cost of a pod is less than half the rent of a studio apartment in Palo Alto. Meanwhile, the median sale price topped $4 million in March for single-family homes, according to Redfin.

This feels like a joke from Demolition Man.

You cannot preserve dignity, comfort, and privacy when you charge $800 per month to share a house with 14 people and only have a box that is 40% larger than a bunk bed to yourself.

The old California dream was to buy a house.  California once had the highest middle-class quality of life of any state.

Today, the California dream is affording your own pod rental.

This is an obscenity.

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By J. Kb

18 thoughts on “I will not live in a pod!”
  1. If you don’t like your pod, LA and Frisco also have a broad selection of cardboard boxes.

  2. It sounds a bit like a university dormitory, except less space and more expensive.
    The simple answer of course is “don’t be in CA”.

    1. Yep, and I remember all the crap that took place in dorms…within a few weeks, half the the place will be sleeping with each other, then the fights over who cleans the kitchen and bathrooms. Who took my xxxxx? Etc….

      Aside from the legalities some are mentioning here, the validity of such an arrangement should be purely market driven. I have zero issues with something like this if there is a need and the market supports it. To each his own. ASt some point you have to wonder about the high taxes and the housing marking in Cali – at some point it becomes unsustainable. Will it ever course-correct?

  3. There’s a couple problems here. As I understand it, there’s pending legislation to ban certain ‘multi-person residences’ in CA; these would most certainly fall under that restriction.

    Second, from what I’ve heard these refits don’t take into account sanitary requirements or fire codes. The first time you get a fire in one of these things, people are going to die.

    Japanese capsule or coffin hotels are built specifically to address these issues. I have a feeling these refits are not.

    1. Also, it’s Palo Alto. The zoning rules have been notoriously strict since forever. This sort of thing is definitely contrary to the rules… unless the rules suddenly got changed in the last couple of years (eminently possible, if there’s been a Corporatist takeover of the city government as happened in Sunnyvale some years back).
      Come to think of it, the house in Sunnyvale right next to mine was apparently sold under the table for less than market value (thereby depressing local values, just before I sold mine, thanks a heap), gutted, expanded (in violation of setback rules), and turned into a 3-unit rental with a common area – in a neighborhood zoned single-family residential. As far as I know, the city didn’t do anything about it, and presumably the fresh blood at the planning commission signed off on the permits and inspections.

    2. “there’s pending legislation to ban certain ‘multi-person residences’ in CA” is California in a nutshell, massive housing problem due to insanely high costs, due to short supply exacerbated by NIMBY zoning. Bear in mind that San Francisco invented the NIMBY.

  4. I lived “rent free” in a pod as a 19 to 22 year old. It was called a rack, and there were 200 of them in an area the size of a 2 bedroom house. You used to have to join the Navy for an experience like that.

    1. I spent 19 to 22 in a steel cylinder 16′ in diameter at its widest, tapering to the width of paired torpedo tubes at each end, with 90 other men and all the things necessary to power/feed/support a 1952 model sub.
      Three men “hot bunked”, which means while one slept, the other two were up working: eight hours on watch, eight hours sleeping, eight hours working, per bunk. Standing watch and working are not the same thing. LOL My first two bunks, I literally could not turn over while in the bunk, I had to get out to roll over, stomach or back only in the bunk. I absolutely love seeing the mansions depicted of subs in the movies/TV. LOL
      Commiefornians vote for this crap, f*ck’em.

    2. and we got paid to do it, w/ food, and travel. They get to pay for the privilege, pay for a commute, to sit in a viewless cubicle all day.

      Good times.

  5. Not anything I’m interested in…but hey, if someone thinks it’s a good idea and people are willing to live there, fine by me.

  6. False Dichotomy.
    Palo Alto = California like a skybox in Dallas = Texas, or a penthouse on Central Park West = New York.

    ‘Tain’t so.

  7. I was bored the other day so I looked up real estate in a suburb of San Diego. The cheapest homes were $800,000, with most being well over a million. I get that California has an abundance of natural beauty and great weather, but how can anyone afford that? Much less enough people to populate an entire community?

    1. 😂😂😂😂
      Let the Pod Fags…Pod.
      Crabs and Scabies are going to Skyrocket.

      These people are Psychotic.
      I have No Sympathy.

  8. I keep thinking that California has got to hit bottom eventually, but dammit, the bastards keep inventing new shovels.

      1. They can’t use the diesel ones unless they run it on biodiesel. Gotta stop Greta’s tears.

  9. I recall a while back that someone proposed a similar idea to house homeless and it was widely panned as being undignified. Slap a $1000/month price tag on it and I guess it becomes dignified.

    1. If you want to put them in pods in Palo Alto, West L.A., etc., please, do so in haste, with the blessings of the rest of Califrutopia!
      Alternately, the Channel Islands and Death Valley are under-inhabited as well.
      Dealer’s choice.
      FTW, put them in the hallways of the courthouses, legislatures, and city halls that think they need more of them. Any overflow, the public servants can take home and put in their spare bedrooms.

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