• Demand for affordable housing has motivated some individuals to renovate the interior of vans and rent them out.
  • A number of San Francisco residents live in their vehicles.
  • Outside of unconventional housing, micro units appear to be the most affordable housing option.

If you’re looking to live in San Francisco on the cheap unconventional housing appears to be your only route.

A search of Craigslist will produce a number of unconventional options including the chance to live in a renovated FedEx truck.

The truck, which can be rented for $600 a month, was a focal point of a recent San Francisco Chronicle article.

Victor Maschek / Shutterstock.com

Victor Maschek / Shutterstock.com

The truck features wood floors, a sunroof, a fold-out couch and a mini kitchen, but no running water.

According to Civil Code Section 1941.1 landlords are required to provide tenants with “plumbing, electricity and gas facilities” in good working order. However, it is unclear if the truck falls under these requirements.

Of course if you own your own car, van or RV you can live in San Francisco rent free, so long as you comply with various daytime and overnight parking rules.

In the summer of 2014, a federal appeals court struck down a law that barred people from living in parked vehicles, saying the statute discriminates against the homeless and poor. According to San Francisco’s 2015 homeless count, at least 268 people live in their vehicles.

Other unconventional housing options available to SF residents include a backyard, a guest tent furnished with an air bed, a houseboat, a living room couch with breakfast provided and a 200-square-foot single bedroom.

Micro units appear to represent a more affordable, less unconventional option for renters, with units on Craigslist going anywhere from $1,200 to $1,950 a month. One San Francisco-based developer, Panoramic Interests, recently completed a project that featured 160 micro units, with plans to build another such project that will feature more than 200 small units.

Email Erik Pisor

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