Apart from workers, widespread college campus shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has displaced many students too. This causes a new housing trend to rise in popularity: co-living.
Co-living, is “the practice of living with other people in a group of homes that include some shared facilities,” as defined by the Cambridge dictionary. It has become a robust asset class during the pandemic.
“Most of this demand came from students that didn’t have the opportunity to go home to their families or another location to go to when the campuses closed,” said Gregg Christiansen, president of the co-living giant, Ollie. “It gave accessibility and a seamless transition” for many displaced individuals since campuses closed.
Per Fox Business, companies like Ollie and Starcity saw an increase in student occupancy in buildings that have co-living units. This increase started happening since shelter-in-place orders and shutdowns took effect.
A Decent Alternative?
Co-living appears to be an appealing alternative to an average studio apartment. In the latter, living arrangements are normally 30% to 40% more expensive, reported Fox Business.
Sharing some spaces with strangers may contradict social distancing. However, Fox Business explains that many co-living companies found ways to ensure occupants’ safety. Starcity offers concessions like housekeeping, access to online workout subscriptions, rent discount incentives, and virtual mixology classes.
“Many companies have reported that they have enhanced deep cleaning routines throughout the common spaces, focusing heavily on shared surfaces, including countertops, sinks, and doorknobs,” reported Arch Daily. “They are also asking residents to wear masks when outside of their private residences.”
One living house in Los Angeles requests its residents to set handwashing reminder alarms every two hours. If one of the residents were to be diagnosed with COVID-19, “many communities have set aside empty units as designated quarantine zones where residents can receive mild medical treatment,” said the report.
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