Think of a place where you could share a big warehouse with up to 50 people. There are people you have never met sharing the same room as you. You bond with them throughout the night finding everything you have in common. You have one bed, a small area for your necessities, and share everything else. Bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms are shared.
As each year passes, millennials and generation X attempt to revolutionize the way people live and work. Co-living is the installment to a new era of house life.
“I think co-living is here to stay. It’s a cheap and convenient option people can enjoy when traveling, said Kalysa To, 20. “I might try co-living because I think it’s a good way to meet people.”
According to Business Insider’s article published in March, companies such as OpenDoor and WeWork evolved co-living into an inclusive experience where people can join communities where they tap into free wifi, maid service, and find new friends.
These big spaces are called hacker houses. They were named this way when Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues built the Facebook empire.
However, ideas like this aren’t new. According to an article from Medium published in March, co-living originated in Denmark in the 1960s when Bodil Graae published an article questioning the structure of a family unit. This, in turn, inspired a group of families to create the Saettedammen co-living community in 1974.
Today, companies built on these same concepts but added more amenities for the modern age.
A BBC article published in May of 2014 concludes that about 36 percent of people between the ages 18-31 are in familial homes, which is 4 percentage points higher than before the 2007 crisis. This statistic shows the increase of communal housing, which is continuing to do so today.
Many people are using co-living as a way to solve the housing crisis in places such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.
Locally in Los Angeles, a company called Podshare created just that — a place for people to spend the night, meet people and use utilities. According to their website, Podshare has a membership where people can gain access to Podshare location in Hollywood, Venice, downtown Los Angeles, and Westwood. Rent costs $50 per night, $280 per week, and $1,000 per month.
One might suggest that it is easier for belongings to get stolen and fights to erupt as no one knows each other. A representative for Podshare answered through a text message interview why it is actually okay to leave belongings without worrying it will get stolen.
“We have lockers available for free if people feel the need to secure personal belongings,” the representative said in a text message. “We have no problem with theft as it is an open and communal environment.”
Spencer Williams, 15, thinks that co-living is beneficial but there is also room for improvement.
“I do think it would be cool if you could share basic information about yourself with the organization at it matches you up with people who like the same things as you,” Williams said. “There could be a building with multiple apartments. Five people with things in common stay in one apartment.”
Spencer’s father, Ashton, has different opinions on co-living.
“It [co-living] wouldn’t meet my needs as a trend,” said Ashton Williams, 54. “It is not beneficial to everyone, only specific age groups.”
Something such as co-living is less likely to appeal to the older generation. It is beneficial, but not to everyone.
Regardless, co-living has found itself impressed into millennials’ vision for the future. So far, it has made itself a potential solution to the housing crisis in major cities.