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Uphill battle.
ON THE ROAD

Yet more proof that San Francisco’s housing crisis is ridiculous

Kate Groetzinger
By Kate Groetzinger

Ideas fellow

BedEx is back on the market. One lucky tenant can now call this refurbished FedEx van home for only $600 a month—a steal in San Francisco’s bloated housing market, where the average asking rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,670, up 9% from last year.

“Landlord” John D. Storey tricked out the retired delivery truck—he calls it BedEx, or the MakeItHappenWagon—with wood floors, a kitchenette, and a futon, with the intention of living in the truck himself. Then he got a job in Provo, Utah, where rent is a lot more affordable, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (paywall). In order to re-coup the cost of renovating the van, Storey decided to rent it out. A San Francisco State University student named Cinthia lived in it this fall, although she has since moved out.

Cinthia is hardly the first to rough it in a truck in San Francisco. Almost 300 people live in vehicles in the city, according to the city’s most recent homeless count. Lately, Bay Area white-collar workers have also started opting for alternative living situations, such as a VW bus and this moving truck parked in the parking lot of Google.

Challenges come with living off the grid, such as the lack of plumbing. Cinthia and other workers who live in vehicles must seek facilities such as bathrooms and showers at their gym or office. And then there’s the issue of finding a place to park, or else risk towing and ticketing. A permanent parking spot in the city costs around $300 on Craigslist.

For Cinthia and others trying to make ends meet in San Francisco, living in a van is a short term fix at best.

“It seems like a cool idea in theory, but I don’t think anyone would actually choose to live in a FedEx truck for the rest of their life,” Cinthia told the Chronicle.

Image by torbakhopper on Flickr

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