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Brief Published: 1 Sep 2016

Starcity: Communal Housing for All

More than 50% of the global population now live in urban cities

San Francisco-based start-up Starcity is building communal housing in the city’s unused residential space to accommodate people struggling to afford a place to live.

Increasing demand in San Francisco means that many of the homes available in the Bay Area are priced out of consumers’ budgets. Turning to communal housing as a solution, Starcity offers units for half the price of an average studio apartment in the area.

The complex of single-bed, single-bath houses offers residents a community atmosphere, with shared lounge areas and washing rooms, as well as space for events – such as film nights, yoga classes and art shows. “Our mission is to create a future where great cities are accessible to everyone. Starcity provides beautifully designed, comfortable homes for anyone interested in a community-focused lifestyle,” said chief executive Jon Dishotsky.

Demand for urban housing has put a strain on cities all over the world. Some 30% of the global population lived in an urban area in 1950, with this figure growing to over 50% by 2014 and expected to rise at least another 20% before 2050 (United Nations, 2014).

Launched in August 2016, Starcity is currently available to 50 people across two so-called ‘Starcity communities’. However, the company is looking to expand, with a new batch of houses being built by early 2017.

For more on the rise of communal housing and co-living areas, see New Collectives. To understand how cities are developing due to evolving consumer attitudes, see Re.Work Future Cities Summit 2014