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Old 04-26-2014, 12:08 PM
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,229,344 times
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A lot of these set-ups sound just like living in a commune, which I did long long ago.

Lived there long enough to know that I never want to share a bathroom or a kitchen or live in a dorm or a boarding house or any kind of co-housing. I'd live in my car first. Which I also did.
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:02 PM
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The residents of many SRO places are folks who have fallen upon hard times. A friend lived in the Ansonia in San Francisco. Oh my, the stories he would tell. So much drug use and alcoholism.

Gradually, these places are closing down. Often because the building needs too much upkeep and the place is sold for the land as it become more valuable than the property.

Last edited by GotHereQuickAsICould; 04-26-2014 at 02:45 PM..
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:33 PM
Location: Cushing OK
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When I was waiting for disability, with medical issues, I lived in a form of Board and Care. Since I was working with the county they were required to supply safe housing. We had six women in the house. My roommate and I were good with each other, and never left the door open. We also disregrarded the woman who assumed she ran things. She blamed everything that happened on us. I don't like apartments, but I was SO glad to move out. Technically food was provided, for instance, but we kept having to call the county to say none had arrived.

Someone onsite who lives there is one thing, but designating one of the residents 'in charge' didn't work at all.

I've also rented rooms and while its not ideal would do that over the other. One place was okay except for the booze/meth undxed bipolar renter. She'd storm in and slam her door and on would go the Stones greatest hits at top volume. Nobody told her to turn it down since she many not have been in a good mood. At least I liked the music.

My great grandmother ran an actors hotel, and had lived before in a boarding house. The thing which made them work were rules. People understood they were accepting them when they moved in. When I've rented rooms, and it was clearly stated by the owner what went with the room, and all the conditions it went well. When the owner changed the rules (I just hate people touching my laundry, so you can't use the washer, one week after moving in) it wasn't okay. But its a two way street.

Personally I like living alone, and don't like housemates being in the way. If I had a bunch of strangers I'd do like i did then, stay in my room and not talk to anyone and eat by myself. Not for me.

Last edited by nightbird47; 04-26-2014 at 03:03 PM..
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:41 PM
Location: Cushing OK
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Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
A wonderful experience that you are sharing. I have been in this area.

I think the boarding house can be reasonably and economically converted or built because parking would not and should not be included. Parking is a huge expense and waste of land resources. We need to do away with the idea of parking is needed or be required in all types of housing as going along with the idea that cars are always needed--they are not.

Since the residents would want and need economical housing then they really could not and should not pay for buying and the upkeep of an auto. These boarding houses are best placed in dense urban areas where an auto would not be essential and actual be a detriment to the environment.

Boarding houses near good public transit and in a walkable neighborhood of essential shopping near parks and healthcare can well serve our society. I think it would be idea as a retirement type housing.

One sees many senior residences near hospitals and with all the associated doctor's offices and clinics. All of these are large senior housing complexes and some are subsidized. If we can include boarding houses in the mix then we can serve more residences in a smaller land footprint and have them near these essential services.

One reason why multiple person housing is often banned is parking. If you have room for two cars in the garage/off the street, but six other people with cars, then they all park on the street. Neighbors complain. Their company doesn't have room. Their going to cut the lawn but by the curb a car is parked too close.

You'd have to specifically say no parking is allowed to get past that. It may also be considered a business and violate residental laws. Many times if you want to nitpick, the people that rent out three rooms and live in one and share the house are too, but so long as there aren't problems its not on the radar. If they own the house and rent out four bedrooms and and don't even live there it could be different.
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:47 PM
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,540,572 times
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Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
Yes a shared bathroom is considered by many as a hassle and in family homes of today we have multiple bathrooms, each for one family member. Yet for many of us, we grew up with one bathroom shared by even larger families of the past.

So, our own bathroom has become an entitlement in our minds but is a shared bathroom all that difficult to accept if one needs economical housing. I can well remember the shared bathrooms of dormitories and Army barracks as well as my large family in the little house of my youth with one bathroom. I accepted that arrangement and it was not all that bad but perhaps I was young and now that we are older we expect and demand more.

Keep in mind I am talking about many people who have less and consequently can live with less; require less and need less to be content. A boarding house would not fulfill the needs of those who live with abundance; require more and need much more to be happy.

A boarding house is not a place for those who need conspicuous consumption to show off and cater to their egos, as many need the Mc Mansions of today.

The biggest source of contention in places I've rented a room is the bathroom. Either its someone taking a long shower just when someone else needs to get ready to go somewhere, or its cleaning. We were supposed to rotate. I'm allergic to bleach and the really strong chemicals and use vinegar or a non toxic cleaner. But the one women didn't think it was 'good enough'. Sorry but I'm not making myself sick. She finally said if I'd give her five dollars she'd do it. So I skipped a lunch out and we had peace. But its a personal place and people have different ideas and they sometimes clash.

Having someone come and clean would solve with a small share from the renters. Then everyone would be happy.
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:27 PM
20,733 posts, read 13,741,528 times
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Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
In the mid-19th Century before the rise of the middle class, boardinghouse life was the norm for many in American cities. Working-class people were on the move with their jobs. Typically school teachers and other young professionals not wealthy lived in boardinghouses. Marriage usually brought some kind of settling down in a house of some kind to raise families. The poor never made it out of urban tenements. It changed the whole landscape of society, not always for the better, when nonrural folks went gung-ho for themselves. Living rural was for farming/sustainable community purposes, not to escape society. The gold rush was an interesting era for boardinghouses.

Boardinghouses and Hotels in 19th Century America
Boarding/taking in lodgers was and still is in many parts of the USA and Europe a way for genteel persons in reduced (financial) circumstances to earn money from the one asset they had, their homes.

In many parts of the United States housing options were tight, especially rental apartments. What you often did have was lots of private homes that were not always being used to capacity. So if you are an woman rattling around in an old huge Victorian mansion on Nob Hill, in SF but were hard up for money, you took in boarders.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:21 PM
Location: Native Floridian, USA
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I've seen good things and bad things about rooming/boarding houses. I had a relative who owned one. There is one in a Central Fl town that has been around for 50 years or more.
There was/is another one close by that took in older people. It was/is somewhat a retirement home. A lot of older people went there and seemed to do okay. My mother wanted to go there but passed away before moving in. I think a lot depends on who owns them and how much time and effort they put into them being run well. I think a manager on site is the way to go. JMOO.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:47 PM
Location: Jamestown, NY
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The old railroad hotel in my home town has been converted into a SRO. There's probably a need since this is a poor rural area with lots of people in need of housing but not much money. I suspect most of the residents have alcohol and other drug issues, but I don't know. I don't believe any elderly people live there.

I think one of the reasons that SROs have disappeared except in very large, very expensive cities is because of subsidized senior and/or handicapped apartments. These are very common in Upstate NY. In fact, the old elementary school in my town was rehabbed and turned into subsidized senior housing. They rent for a maximum of 30% of income and include heat, water, electric, garbage, and sometimes basic cable, so somebody who only had $800 in SS would pay only $240 a month. If I were in straightened circumstances, I would consider moving into one.

Some of the senior facilities in this area offer levels of care other than simply ALF or SNF, ranging from stand alone bungalows and apartments for independent seniors who just don't want to bother with lawn work and home maintenance to seniors who just need help with meals or laundry or making sure they take their medications, etc.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:00 PM
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,592 posts, read 12,334,192 times
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Originally Posted by mastequila View Post

I actually own such a business, not a boarding house, but a rooming house (never could find someone to cook for the roomers).
Me too.

My three house-mates live on the third floor. No food is provided, so it is a rooming house not a boarding house. If I were to acquire one more housemate then I would have to resgister it and buy a special license according to local laws. Even with just three house-mates I still have to abide by certain laws in regards to leases, fire extinguishers, battery-less smoke detecters, windows and doors operational, etc.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:09 PM
Location: Near a river
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There are some small privately run nursing homes (large houses) sometimes called "homes for the aged" in the Northeast that are essentially boarding houses but with medical supervision.
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