sanfran
The San Francisco bay area, as a result of the booming tech industries to which it is home, has recently been shown to be an area of extreme income inequality. While some of the area’s inhabitants make comfortable six-figure salaries, it becomes harder and harder for the middle class to continue to survive comfortably as rent and other expenses skyrocket.

As part of a week-long series covering the city’s income inequality, NPR recently published a piece exploring how the steep rising cost of housing has inadvertently sparked a movement towards communal living. In the article, author Elise Hu explains how, throughout San Francisco’s bay area, young professionals are coming together to live by the dozens in mansions-turned-communal houses. The article explains how the residents of the home operate somewhere between a co-op board and a single family, sharing groceries, household responsibilities and meals, while putting on concerts and salons and discussing new move-ins.

These residents, it seems, can not avoid the noticeable division of social class. Tech companies such as Google, Yahoo and Apple, all who have made San Fran the home of their headquarters, have brought with them young tech professionals, many of are out-of-towners who pull in more than twice what local companies can afford to pay. They offer privatized bus services, which many see as a slap to the face of the less fortunate. Tech workers have even been known to refer to homeless people as “degenerates” and “grotesque, ” and on the other side, protesters have taken to the San Francisco streets to block the private buses that shuttle tech workers out to the Valley.

While visibly noticeable in the San Francisco bay area, income inequality is an American problem, affecting cities and regions from the west to the east coast. Whether this new housing structure suggest forthcoming change in the home lives of Americans everywhere is not sure, but, if nothing else, the positive experiences explained throughout the article are definitely a good sign of human adaptability to the changing surroundings. The entire series on income inequality is worth reading, and can be found here.

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Category: Technology