Cheap Rent in San Francisco: Lots of Hugs Required



San Franciscans who haven’t created the next Snapshat/Uber/Slack yet—or don’t have a massive trust fund to fall back on—may despair of ever finding a decent place they can afford to rent (not to mention buy!).

So a furnished room in a 10-bedroom, French Victorian mansion in a prime part of the city starting at just $650 a month may sound like a dream come true.

But there’s a catch—what renters aren’t spending in cash, they’ll make up for in hugs, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. You read that correctly: Those living at Chateau Ubuntu, a communal residence with 38 housemates, will be expected to hug all of those roomies—a lot.

Here’s hoping that dirt-cheap rent gives them an awful lot of warm fuzzies.

In fact, there are 1,330 hugs doled out a week at the “intentional community,” according to the chateau’s website.

Modern-day hippies … er, residents, live in bedrooms with one to five roommates, for rent from $650 to $1,050 a month, according to the Chronicle. They then kick in an additional $350 membership fee used for necessities such as utilities and shared food, as well as a host of social events designed to appeal to a crowd of bearded, guitar-playing, peace sign flashers who—one can only imagine—know all the words to “Kumbaya.”

And who knows? The required hugs, 35-question application, and video featuring roommates strumming their instruments around a fire pit and slinging glow-in-the-dark hula hoops around their hips may actually be a draw for some folks—in addition to that cheap rent.

This is a city, after all, where even an employed software engineer lived in a van and a successful 25-year-old illustrator moved into a box in a friend’s living room for just $400 a month.

The median San Francisco rent is a bank account-busting $4,650 a month for a two-bedroom unit in July, according to rental website

So those who are looking to embrace saving (much more than) a few bucks on rent should get ready to open their arms to one another. Come here, roomie!

Cheap Rent in San Francisco: Lots of Hugs Required

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