Tech Workers Adapt To Housing Squeeze In Northern California

November 14, 2016

A dream job at Google or Yahoo will cost you. Employees at those and other tech companies are finding that it’s extremely difficult to find good housing in Northern California. Single-family houses are expensive and apartments are scarce.

The New York Times reports that many Bay Area cities are blocking proposals to build multifamily housing and mixed-use developments, plans that would alleviate the housing crunch. Palo Alto, for instance, has three jobs for every housing unit. Rather than build more apartments, the city is looking to restrain the pace of job growth.

Workers are moving farther away from their jobs and enduring longer commutes as a result. Some would-be homebuyers are taking some drastic measures. Steven Callister, an engineer at LinkedIn, lives in a double-wide trailer with his wife and family.

Given the cost of housing in Mountain View and the brutal commute times from anywhere they could afford, a trailer makes the most sense and lets him spend more time with the couple’s two young children. “We joke that it’s the only mobile home park with Mercedeses and Teslas in the driveway,” Rebecca Callister said. “It’s like the new middle class in California.”

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