The affordable housing crunch is bringing out innovators trying to come up with solutions. In many larger U.S. cities, our local problems are magnified—so I like to look at what they're doing. Unfortunately, not much is coming up, but this week an article about co-living developments caught my attention.
Many millennials and others in Bend and around the country are currently renting homes with multiple roommates in order to have affordable housing. Co-living developers most frequently retrofit existing multifamily housing units, so that tenants can rent rooms and share communal facilities, like a kitchen and laundry room, and sometimes bathrooms, instead of having full units. This allows more people to live in the same space. The units are often furnished with space-saving furniture that can make a unit feel double the size. According to one developer, Starcity, its model delivers three times as many housing units as a standard apartment unit.
Co-living has merits for providing affordable access to good neighborhoods by having tenants live in smaller furnished bedrooms with shared common spaces and expenses like cleaning, utilities, wi-fi, etc. While it's not for everyone, it's becoming an increasingly popular solution for some and is even expanding to smaller cities with foreign investors looking to expand this concept in our domestic market.