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Old 04-24-2014, 10:30 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,540,747 times
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I really like to propose an idea much different today but was very common yesterday to help with some housing issues of today. I think we should return to a way of the pasts and reintroduce Boarding Houses for low cost housing. They served a good basic housing for single workers and for singles in retirement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boarding_house

It is where you rent a room for a very long extended time and it is inclusive with full meals. You share common living rooms, kitchen and bathrooms. I suspect some are still in operation but I know not where.

I am not so indicating that which people rent rooms in their house. I am not talking about communal type living arrangements. I am not talking about expensive co-housing. I am talking about those specifically called boarding houses and may perhaps require a license from a municipality. Has anyone seen such type of housing?

It is not a bed and breakfast which is basically a short term residency for travelers that comes with breakfast.

I am sure you would be familiar with this concept if you watched old movies. Some of us can remember them when we were younger.

I picked up a girl for a date who worked as a secretary. She lived in a women's only boarding house--that was about 45 years ago. I had to wait in the front pallor for her to come from her room.

I remember visiting a bachelor man in a boarding house about that same time. There were men and woman sitting in a common room watching television. He had his own room with a common bath down the hall. He lived in this house for about 15 years. He worked at a bank.

This would solve many of the problems listed as providing more low cost housing in a basic simple environment. It would solve much of the problems of loneliness of singles with people allowing to live together with some interaction in common areas and dining together. It would be ideal for those who lost their mate and did not or could not afford the standard apartment or single housing of today. It could be the simple retirement home for those who have less to spend.

Also years ago, there were rooming houses which provided low cost rooms, not apartments, not hotel rooms but rooms with a shared bath down the hall . I stayed in a YMCA rooming house, a couple of nights, many decades ago. I remember seeing these rooming houses when I was young.

http://daily.sightline.org/2012/11/1...able-quarters/

There is an interesting type of care facility for the elderly which is called a Board and Care Home where a few elderly persons of need live in a small home with caregivers. They are licensed by the State. It could be said they are similar to a Boarding House.

For myself, I have lived in many types of housing from college dorms to Army barracks to a quonset hut in the Antarctic. With the shared lavatories, dining and common sitting rooms, I was perhaps much happier in these basic housing of my past.

I have lived in apartment, alone and shared. Now I live in my own detached single family home but is this housing of today applicable to all and in all situations. Is is necessary to have these expensive types of housing for a good quality of life.

Why does every type of housing have to be so large and more costly. We can go back to a time and live a simpler existence where our basic needs are met. We all do not need so much to have a place to live. When we have talked about living with parents or relatives because of financial problems, perhaps these common simple housing of the past can serve that need.

What do you all think?

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 04-24-2014 at 10:50 PM..
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:44 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,527 posts, read 39,903,732 times
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I have space for boarders in my house, (lower regulation than 'renters'). I never call them renters

One meal / day provided! Also listed as international guest home, so have both short and long term stays. (Currently a SIL, starting over at age 50+))

I will eventually BE the boarder, and my caregiver will get the 'house' for minimal / free rent.

My planned senior semi-rural village will have small cottages + a few 4 plexes and a common building with apts for caregivers / boarders. I found a similar one in Davis, CA and spent part of a week with them learning the 'ropes' of such an endeavor. Works great for 12 residents and 2 caregivers. (tho has had it's challenges at times).

One property that I have an option on, has access to 15 acres & 2 ponds, yet is 5 minutes to bus route, city center (40,000+) and 15 min to center of metro (400,000). It has good soils for gardening and farming and is adjacent to an 'in-town' nature preserve. Targeting, $80k for entry / share / cottage, or $600 for rent or $300/month for 'boarding' (+ food costs, which can be mitigated through labor / help).

Time will tell.
I am very sensitive to noise, so might be tired of roommates by the time I leave Thailand. As when I lived in Spain..., On one side of the house, the neighbors stay up till 2AM eating and doing dishes, the other side gets up at 6AM (noisy kids). Usually I get a place in the country, but these two weeks I'm in town.

Fortunately, I will probably suffer hearing loss and will not notice a freight train.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:50 AM
 
13,313 posts, read 25,542,533 times
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I lived in a boarding house for a time in Brookline, MA, in 1974. It was exactly as live content describes, and quite a cast of characters. At the time, in the very nice urbane town of Brookline, there were a lot of old Victorians that were boarding houses. But then real estate zoomed again and again, and they are all built over/converted/rehabbed. The house I lived in was a few houses down from JFK's birthplace. The olden days! When people were supposedly fleeing the city.

One resident was a teenager who'd run away from home in Maine and ate ice cream for all meals. There was a couple just returned from the Peace Corps. There was an Italian guy who gave haircuts like a salon in his room. Probably would have made a good reality TV show or something.

A long time ago.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,213,572 times
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In the 1960's my grandmother rented a 1350 SF, 3 bedroom home and "took on" 2 male boarders. I only saw the guys a few times because they worked during the day. My grandmother was a cook, I am not. This would never work for me. However, I wouldn't be adverse to renting out a room if need be. If I'm the one who needs to move out, I'd prefer to live with friends or family.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:55 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
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LiveContent

I love the idea but in today's world I think a boarding house would need to have a separate bath attached to each bedroom. Or maybe a shared bath between 2 bedrooms might work.

As Lenora mentioned, some of us might prefer to live with friends or family, but some don't have anyone. Then there's the other situation where family doesn't feel comfortable having a parent living with them -- nearby is ok but not with. I think there would be many people who would consider a boarding house.

The only problem I see with seniors renting in a boarding house is what happens if they get sick or later need daily assistance or constant care. What does the landlord do then? with a sick person?
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
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I think it would take revamping the local housing laws. Most see boarding house as a flop house and legislate against it. The town I am retiring to goes so far as to say that you cannot have more than one unrelatedby blood person living in your house.

That is living there not boarding or renting, just living so if I had two of my sons and their families living with me, I would be violating the law with two daughters in law in residence, [non blood relative]

It's all in the details and the fine print!
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,761 posts, read 7,689,871 times
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I've never actually seen a women or men's hotel, boarding house etc. In this day and age, it seems the govt. thinks everyone deserves their own house, so its going to take a change of mind in people's head, to think that they can live again in smaller speaces with less privacy. Smallest I've seen locally is senior apartments, which are like 500-600 sq. ft. Several were govt. subsidized.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:18 AM
 
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I almost forgot a period in my history. I was a chef at hotels. I remember one where there was an elderly resident who lived there for years. In the very large hotels in NYC, it is common to have permanent residents and some are notable persons. Some of the wealthy permanent residents would actually have a number of hotel residences and would move back and forth to Florida or Europe as to the Riviera--for the weather or to attend to the social seasons. Of course, this is not a budget boarding house but you can think of them as boarding houses for the wealthy.

Livecontent
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:24 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,540,747 times
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In doing this research on this issue, I uncovered this article, so my idea is not so unique as I thought:

Bring Back the Boarding House | Sightline Daily

and the review of his book here:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/hou...ng-house/6236/

Livecontent
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
2,063 posts, read 1,864,996 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
I really like to propose an idea much different today but was very common yesterday to help with some housing issues of today. I think we should return to a way of the pasts and reintroduce Boarding Houses for low cost housing. They served a good basic housing for single workers and for singles in retirement.

Boarding house - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is where you rent a room for a very long extended time and it is inclusive with full meals. You share common living rooms, kitchen and bathrooms. I suspect some are still in operation but I know not where.

I am not so indicating that which people rent rooms in their house. I am not talking about communal type living arrangements. I am not talking about expensive co-housing. I am talking about those specifically called boarding houses and may perhaps require a license from a municipality. Has anyone seen such type of housing?

It is not a bed and breakfast which is basically a short term residency for travelers that comes with breakfast.

I am sure you would be familiar with this concept if you watched old movies. Some of us can remember them when we were younger.

I picked up a girl for a date who worked as a secretary. She lived in a women's only boarding house--that was about 45 years ago. I had to wait in the front pallor for her to come from her room.

I remember visiting a bachelor man in a boarding house about that same time. There were men and woman sitting in a common room watching television. He had his own room with a common bath down the hall. He lived in this house for about 15 years. He worked at a bank.

This would solve many of the problems listed as providing more low cost housing in a basic simple environment. It would solve much of the problems of loneliness of singles with people allowing to live together with some interaction in common areas and dining together. It would be ideal for those who lost their mate and did not or could not afford the standard apartment or single housing of today. It could be the simple retirement home for those who have less to spend.

Also years ago, there were rooming houses which provided low cost rooms, not apartments, not hotel rooms but rooms with a shared bath down the hall . I stayed in a YMCA rooming house, a couple of nights, many decades ago. I remember seeing these rooming houses when I was young.

http://daily.sightline.org/2012/11/1...able-quarters/

There is an interesting type of care facility for the elderly which is called a Board and Care Home where a few elderly persons of need live in a small home with caregivers. They are licensed by the State. It could be said they are similar to a Boarding House.

For myself, I have lived in many types of housing from college dorms to Army barracks to a quonset hut in the Antarctic. With the shared lavatories, dining and common sitting rooms, I was perhaps much happier in these basic housing of my past.

I have lived in apartment, alone and shared. Now I live in my own detached single family home but is this housing of today applicable to all and in all situations. Is is necessary to have these expensive types of housing for a good quality of life.

Why does every type of housing have to be so large and more costly. We can go back to a time and live a simpler existence where our basic needs are met. We all do not need so much to have a place to live. When we have talked about living with parents or relatives because of financial problems, perhaps these common simple housing of the past can serve that need.

What do you all think?

Livecontent
Isn't that what Forest Gump's mother did to make money in the movie Forest Gump? I think it would be nice to try it but the shared bathroom could become a hassle.
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