Aug 19

Strapped for Cash in NYC? You Can Now Sleep in a Taxi or Van for $39 a Night (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 18, 2015):

Who says there’s no affordable housing in NYC or San Francisco?

A couple of weeks ago, I published an article titled, The Rent is Too Damn High – San Fran Residents Pay $1,000 a Month to Live in Shipping Containers. Here’s an excerpt:

Luke Iseman has figured out how to afford the San Francisco Bay area. He lives in a shipping container.

The Wharton School graduate’s 160-square-foot box has a camp stove and a shower made of old boat hulls.

Iseman collects $1,000 a month for each of the 11 structures parked in the 17,000-square-foot warehouse he rents for $9,100. Tenants include a Facebook Inc. engineer, a SolarCity Corp. programmer and a bicycle messenger.

Now we have New York City’s answer. From International Business Times:

The words ‘New York City’ and ‘budget’ tend not to go hand in hand. But a new venture offers budget travelers million-dollar views of Manhattan for about $39 (£27). Adventurous travellers can sleep overnight in a taxi, van or camper parked on the street in New York City.

Entrepreneur Jonathan Powley started offering the rentals in April on the Airbnb website. He said the idea came to him after his van broke down on the side of the road. Powley said he now rents what he calls “rolling rooms” inside three vans, two campers and one taxi. While the prices vary, Powley said the lowest price for a night is $22.

Each of the vehicles has been converted to accommodate a large bed, a fan and not much else. All the vehicles are parked in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, just across the East River from Manhattan.

The vehicles might be big on charm, but they are short on amenities. There is no bathroom.

“That’s the number one question, ‘Where do I go to the bathroom?’,” said Powley. “I’ve made a list of all the local restaurants in the area that allow my guests at least to use the bathroom.”

Powley added that after the restaurants close, a few late night bars also allow his guests to use their bathrooms. For some, it is a little bit of cozy comfort in the concrete jungle. Philip, a tourist from Germany, said the $39 a night van rental was right on budget for him and his friend.

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