• Tristan Angelini

The Role of Modern-Day Rooming Houses in Solving Housing Affordability Crisis


The housing affordability crisis has really been such a huge issue for some time now. It’s gotten to a point where the government is actually seeking the help of private companies and developers to find a solution to this problem. According to recent stats, the homelessness rate has increased. Homeless people are even concentrated in the major cities, Sydney and Melbourne. This is due to many factors, but it’s been blamed on the lack of opportunities and affordable housing.


In recent years, there have been strategies on how to solve this phenomenon that’s been going on for a while now. One of which is the development of modern-day rooming houses.


What are rooming houses?

Rooming houses are shared accommodation that is developed to increase more affordable houses. They are built with private bedrooms with fixed utility costs. The modern-day housing is meant to be more affordable particularly to those who can’t afford to purchase their own residential property. These rooming houses, because it is shared, have rooms that are available for rental and can fit three or more people. Because of the increasing number of people without homes, something has to be done.


According to studies, in 2001 homeless people or “rough sleepers” were around one-third in the capital cities specifically Melbourne and Sydney. 15 years later, numbers show that almost half of all rough sleepers in Australia can be found in these very cities. So it’s safe to say that it is has become such a huge problem. These days, experts are no longer addressing rough sleepers as those who are sleeping on sidewalks, but also those who are living in crisis accommodation, temporarily staying with friends or relatives, and homes that are considered overcrowded. Because of the shortage of affordable housing, many have settled on these options. It is quite alarming in all honesty.


Aside from the issues regarding salary increase and lack of opportunities for a lot of Australians, the state government has been blamed many times because of this housing affordability problem. The lack of investment for social housing to accommodate those who are in need of a home, most especially in Victoria, have been pointed out as one of the causes. The severity of this issue has reached on a global perspective. It doesn’t help that the property prices in the capital cities are incredibly expensive, making it impossible for low-income Australians and families to even afford.


More experts have been pointing out that while more systematic changes must be done to solve this crisis because it has reached long-term. Yes, there are areas that offer more affordable rent. But more people, especially low-income families are going to compete with this which would contribute to the supply problem. Right now, more affordable housing is needed. Xotel or the modern-day rooming housing’s role, in general, is to provide safe and affordable short-term accommodation to those who are in need of a place to stay while saving up for their next move—whether it’s buying a house or renting a bigger one for them and for the future of their families.

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