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Living the high life on a beer budget

Living the high life on a beer budget

Sun June 17, 2012 7:40pm

LODGING rooms have been touted as the new answer to Perth's rental crisis as people struggle to find decent accommodation at a reasonable price.

The cost of renting a house has soared to a median of $425 a week and the vacancy rate has plummeted to 1.9 per cent, sparking a big demand for lodging rooms, where tenants have a private bedroom with ensuite but share a communal kitchen, dining and lounge room.

The state's biggest provider has more than 400 rooms and is being swamped by requests for more.

"Lodging is now a legitimate and preferred housing option for a percentage of the population and with rents so steep and vacancy rates so low, the demand has never been greater," Foundation Housing chief executive Kathleen Gregory said.

The company's most recent $16.8 million complex on Newcastle St, Northbridge, offered a mix of 17 apartments and 44 lodging rooms.

It was officially launched last month as part of a statewide, government-partnered initiative to address the shortage of affordable housing.

The not-for-profit company bases rents for its subsidised housing on 25 per cent of income, plus any rental assistance that tenants may be eligible for. The average rent is about $135 a week.

Ms Gregory said the company's new model for any future developments, including its upcoming development on Bennett St, East Perth, would involve lodging rooms and units rented out at prevailing market rate.

Company communications co-ordinator Melanie Tascone said the typical resident demographic was singles, mostly men.

"Lodging-boarding houses have been around for a long time, but a lot have been lost to backpackers accommodation, new developments and so on," Ms Tascone said.

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