New Development: Targeting the Middle

The chronic shortage of housing in the Bay Area has left many developers focusing on one of two areas: luxury housing or low income housing. But what about the “great middle” – those who don’t make six figure incomes but can’t qualify for subsidized housing?

A group of developers in the Oakland area are focusing on just this demographic with an emphasis on “compact living”: units of 850 to 1000 square feet that can accommodate three to four people. These units will often include parking, gyms, and communal areas with an eye to keeping rents reasonably low and affordable.

Current plans call for a two bedroom unit in Oakland to rent for $2,950 per month – which is about the going rate for a studio in San Francisco.

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