Private spaces

A private space is not much more than a single mattress on a floor and  a shower curtain hung up to give the roomer a minimum of privacy. That mattress and the use of a common bathroom and kitchen can cost $600 a month or more in Toronto or Vancouver.

Many young people can't afford to buy or rent a condo in these cities unless someone shares the costs.

Vancouver renters offered curtained-off ‘private-spaces’
Josh Elliott,
04 December 2014

The real estate market in downtown Vancouver has become so crowded that curtained-off "private spaces" and "bedrooms" scarcely larger than broom closets are being rented out at prices that defy belief.

One posting on Craigslist last week is an example of just how crazy the Vancouver market has become.

The ad offers boasts of an availability in a "great apartment" for $630 a month.

But the "private space" on offer is simply a curtained-off section of someone's living room, with just enough space inside to lay a mattress down.

Vancouver resident Rosie Reynold says that’s not the only one. Reynold went apartment-hunting on a $1,000 budget, and says she saw other spaces that were simply portioned-off areas of condominiums.

"You open the door and the whole living room would be fenced off to the kitchen," she said.


This Guy Lives In An 8-Foot Box Inside Of An Apartment To Save On Rent
Leticia Miranda

Berkowitz was a cook in New York City’s Flatiron District before he moved to Oakland, California, in 2015 to pursue a career in illustration.

He set out on an apartment hunt with a friend and was immediately struck by the all-too-common San Francisco real estate dilemma where a place might have a huge living room, but not enough bedrooms. So he decided to build a bedroom, or pod, of his own.

For the last three weeks, Berkowitz has been living out of this 8-foot plywood box in his Sunset District apartment. He pays $400 a month in rent.

Berkowitz lives with four other people in the three-bedroom apartment, not including the pod. He said the other roommates pay about $800 each for their rooms.

“Living in the box is an instance of sanity,” Berkowitz said. “It is crazy, but only crazy to the extent that the housing market is crazy. I think it’s a smart solution to the situation that happens to work for me and may work for other people.”

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