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Soaring Seattle Rent Solutions: RVs, Doubling-Up & Enclaves

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Image: Zillow

According to Zillow, Seattle's median rent in December 2015 was $1,931. They expect that number to reach $2,018 some time in 2016. Throw in a security deposit, utilities and the daily costs of living and is it any wonder that the city is in the midst of a serious affordable housing crisis? Some Seattleites don't have the luxury of waiting for the city to make things more livable for them so they're taking it upon themselves to make it possible by whatever means necessary.

Zillow recently tracked down a bunch of locals who are using alternative housing methods to make life easier. Some, like massage therapist Ellen Sims, are trading in their apartment rental for an RV.

...She extracted herself from the rent race a year ago, plunking $2,000 down on a recreational vehicle that now costs her a manageable $240 a month — plus roughly $300 in insurance, propane and gas, depending on the season and her travel plans. She says RV living eases her stress and means she doesn't have to worry about money quite as much. Of course, there have been recent issues regarding RVs and homelessness, but there are ways to get around without attracting unwanted attention from homeowners or NIMBYs.

For those who want to stay in an apartment or home, sometimes the answer is "doubling up."

For the past few years, [Reba Wirtel] has lived with her teenage daughter, Alli, in a rented home with a single mom, her daughter and, typically, three other roommates. They are among the 32 percent of working-age adults nationally who live with people to whom they are not married or partnered. According to Zillow, 32 percent of working-age adults – aged 23 to 65 – live in doubled-up households as of 2014, which was on the rise then and almost certainly still is.

For those who don't want to lose a sense of community, there are artist enclaves like The InArtsNW.

The home has two kitchens, 12 toilets, four or five showers and a couple of bathtubs. "You'd never know you live with 30 people," he said. "Everybody has a busy life and different schedules."

If you want in, there's a waitlist for the next available room. Given the rental alternatives for many in Seattle, that's completely understandable.
· RV Living in the City: Dodging the Rental Affordability Crisis [Zillow]
· Doubled-up for Dollars [Zillow]
· RV in Seattle safe lot destroyed, two injured [MyN]