‘Space shuttle’ bed pods big enough for a bed cost Melbourne $600 a month, highlighting the city’s record housing shortage
A Melbourne homeowner has listed six “space pods” that can fit a single bed for $600 a month.
Vacancy rates in Melbourne are at an “all-time high”, an expert has told the Guardian.
Sleeping pods have been touted as a solution to housing shortages in cities like San Francisco.
In Melbourne, Australia, a landlord has taken a unique approach to fitting as many people as possible into a home by renting capsules that can each fit a single bed.
The six pods, described as resembling “space shuttles”, cost around $171 a week – or $617 a month – and all the pods are full, Frank Chan told the Guardian. The house also has three regular bedrooms for rent upstairs at $1,500 per month, while the sleeping pods are set up downstairs.
The futuristic white pods, advertised on Facebook at 15 Charles Abbotsford Mansion, are stacked on top of each other and can accommodate two per pod – making 12 in total. Tenants do not have to pay for electricity or furniture and do not have to sign a lease. They also have a housekeeper.
Chan told Insider he was inspired to install the “futuristic and fascinating” modules after traveling to Asia, where he said sleeper modules were popular.
‘I was surprised Melbourne didn’t have it so as I have a pension with a license to accommodate up to 12 people I decided to install these to fill the void in the market,’ wrote Chan to Insider.
Each pod fits a single bed and is equipped with a mirror, fan, USB ports, digital control panels, adjustable color reading lights, locker, hanger and hanger. a curtain door for more privacy.
Chan told Insider that the pods are primarily for short-term stays, but could also help the rental market by providing low-cost extra beds and lowering rental prices. Chan said he hopes the pods will become easier to install, as he is the only pod tenant in town.
Tim Lawless, research director at CoreLogic, told the Guardian that Melbourne is seeing a vacancy rate of 1.3%, which he described as a “record”.
Pod sleepers aren’t a new phenomenon — cities like Beijing, China, and Kyoto, Japan have been offering pods to budget travelers and renters for years.
As cities experience housing shortages and skyrocketing rents, pods continue to be touted as a solution.
In California, real estate developers have proposed and developed bunk bed-type modules that can accommodate dozens of people in a basement in San Francisco. In Palo Alto and Bakersfield, developers have built bunk bed modules that allow 14 people to share a home. The rent is $800 with utilities.
Chan told Insider he was happy with the attention his pods were getting, but reactions to the pods as a housing solution were mixed. Some accused the landlord “of exploiting desperate people and the dire housing situation,” Chan said.
Chan, however, said the experience with his tenants has been positive so far.
“I think when more people are familiar and comfortable with the capsule concept and have explored the regulatory feasibility behind it, we should see more capsules popping up in Melbourne, like they did in Sydney, Tasmania and in Brisbane,” Chan said.
Read the original Insider article