(New York, NY) — How far are you willing to go to save money? For some NYC residents, the answer is living out of their cars!
Cars, since the dawn of their invention, have brought us one major thing, transportation. However, for some, transportation is paired with a place to live. Yes, since the wheels have hit the road there have been loads of back seat sleepers, but just how many are on our NYC streets and why?
NYC rent has skyrocketed over the years. For many, it can be nearly impossible to swing. Reddit user BlueMcCrew told Business Insider he started to live in his blue Honda Fit in an attempt to save money on rent. He now saves $600 a month and is able to put that toward paying off his student loans and admits he is “addicted” to seeing the amount go down.
How does he do it?
BlueMcCrew says the five essentials to living in a car are; a memory foam mattress, blankets, cell phone batteries, a long cable to charge phones, and a window visor.
He stays clean by showering at a local gym and stores his belongings in the trunk of his car, and in his gym locker.
Is he the only one?
BlueMcCrew has a neighbor in Long Island City. 31-year-old Aaron Randolph, musician, and elementary school teaching assistant, lives out of his 2005 Dodge Sprinter on the streets legally.
With Long Island City marked by the New York Post as one of the most expensive Queens neighborhoods to live in (apartments ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 per month), it’s no surprise Randolph had to get creative.
So what does it take to make it on the streets of the Big Apple?
Randolph explained that he’s been living out of his van for over a year now comfortably, and legally.
Since its legalization in 2013, living out of a car in NYC has tracked some attention, and with staggering rent prices is looking to many like a plausible idea.
Now, we know you have some questions.
-Is it safe?
Both BlueMcCrew and Randolph have stated they feel safe with their living arrangements. While BlueMcCrew admits he never feels 100% safe, he does sleep peacefully and has learned to adjust to being on edge.
-How long do these NYC residents plan to live in their car?
Well, it doesn’t seem like they have plans to move out anytime soon. BlueMcCrew says he’s in no rush and could potentially live in his car for the next three years!
For Randolph, his living arrangements are more than just good, with housewarming gifts from his family and date nights in the van with his girlfriend, he doesn’t seem to be in any rush to move.
-Have they run into trouble with the law?
Steven Wasserman, a criminal attorney at the Legal Aid Society, says Randolph is “not violating any criminal statute.”
Along with the “okay” in Long Island City, BlueMcCrew has only run into trouble with the cops a few times, mostly because he overslept and forgot to move. He goes on to say that the key to staying out of trouble is to be polite and clean.
-Words of advice for those seeking to live out of their car?
Jimmy Tarangelo, a Manhattan native who has been living out of his two vans for almost two decades, told the New York Post, “I’m not the cuckoo one living in the truck, they’re cuckoo for paying to live there.”