Tiny Berkeley studios command huge rents

Don’t want a roommate, but can’t afford a one-bedroom?

This situation, for renters, means the hunt for a studio apartment is on. But in Berkeley, that can be an expensive endeavor. In this city, apartments as small as 250 square feet rent for $1,500 a month. Prices go steadily up with each added square foot: By the time you get to 525 square feet, you’re looking at $2,713 a month.

I went to that Berkeley inlaw conference awhile back after taking care of my Oakland property. Man, the place was overflowing with folks interested in building inlaws and the such for presumably extra income or personal use. It makes perfect sense to me.

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Makes sense until you go and talk to the building department


The rents quoted for those studios are overpriced for the area. It’s more “reasonable” when looking all of the housing available, although affordable housing for students is very hard to find (one of the reasons I was advised not to apply as an undergrad). Right now, People’s Park is on the table as the University tries to fulfill its original intent to build student housing there (way back in 1968), along with some housing for the homeless. Really hope some more housing comes out of it. Of course, some of the locals are opposed.

UC Berkeley only provides housing for 22% of its undergraduates and 9% of its graduate students, the lowest percentage of beds for its student body of any campus in the UC system.

__A UC Berkeley taskforce has recommended a campus goal of housing approximately 50% of the university’s undergraduate students and 25% of its graduate students. This means about 15,600 beds are needed, while the university has only about 8,700 beds.

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People’s Park was supposed to be for housing fifty years ago. The looney left chose to fight and die for a park for homeless people instead. Meanwhile very little housing has been built in Berkeley in 50 years. A sad microcosm of the housing problem in the BA area.
Liberals and the radical left are the reason there is a housing shortage plain and simple.

…but it can’t all be plain and simple, there is more to it. Based on what I have read it seems Berkeley is to some degree haunted by its history, and this keeps it from moving forward. No doubt the “left” caused disruption on University grounds in the 60s, and at People’s Park-- by claiming the land for public use when it was owned by the University to be used in part for housing. When protests in 1969 were met with gunfire (by police under the direction of Reagan’s Chief of Staff), killing one and injuring over 100 others, the conflict would be symbolized as the “Flower children vs. the Establishment.” This is the image people like to hold, to the detriment of progress.

There is a meaningful comment on the Berkeleyside article by Piero (a longtime resident with connections to People’s Park who says he is on the left). This is just part of it:

The place that once meant safety for counter cultural people, runaway teens, and hippies who just wanted to explore themselves and the world, became a place lethal to women and children, and a festering open wound on the psyche of the left in this town.

This is something that the city never came to terms with, something that the liberal left in this city refused to talk about, or even acknowledge, preferring the fading pipedream of their 60s utopia fantasy, or what was left of it, to the very real responsibility of understanding that lasting progressive change, requires non-romantic, functional common sense to be applied. It’s work. Not a vacation.

The leftists destroyed my beautiful city Berkeley, which the most desirable place to live in the world in the 50s…They stole millions in property value from my parents and grandparents. I hate these communist bastards in a way that only refugees from Soviet Russia, like my wife, can understand…My wife has to take her mother back to Russia today…She hates Russia so much she will never return after this short visit.
American liberals that have not experienced communism have no idea how bad it is…