Los Angeles Times

California's housing shortage has companies carving up apartments to lower the rent

When Christopher Cacho is home, the 23-year-old data specialist doesn't do much out of the ordinary. He may run a computer analysis at his desk, play a video game or lie down with a good book.

But when he does, he'll do it from a roughly 11-by-8-foot space that's cordoned off by a foldable tan wall on wheels.

To make the pricey Southern California real estate market work for him, Cacho turned to a company that rented him a partitioned section of a living room. Inside, he's set up his bed and television. In the corner, there's a tiny, square end table and ottoman.

"It works well as a converted desk," the recent college graduate said.

Hard-pressed families have long turned couches into beds, and it's common for recent graduates to bunk with friends in a house. But amid a sharp rise in housing costs in booming U.S. cities, a growing number of companies say the affordability

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