Is it time to end the co-living notion?

Sophrosyne

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I have been looking at these horrendous co-living developments for which there are numerous planning applications.

For whom are they suitable?

According to the former housing minister, Eoghan Murphy - forced to backpedal from his “trendy boutique hotel” guff - they are suitable for just 1% of renters.

Even that has been challenged the defined 1% - young house-sharers who often found their kitchens in a disgusting mess that never gets cleaned and items going missing or broken and are never replaced. They have insufficient parking spaces leading to nuisance parking in surrounding residential streets usually in suburban areas that are too small to accommodate such density.

Is this what we have sunk to - the lowest common denominator?
 

Drakon

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Before becoming an FTB in 2006 I had been in a “house share with strangers” in Rathmines since 2003. Though this situation was a fantastic incentive to get on the property ladder despite the housing boom, I can’t say I recall many good things about a standard house share.
Had there been co-living back then, I’d have probably gone for it.
I see the absence of parking space as a good thing. It disincentivises car ownership.

Dublin is a fast growing city. The suburban areas of today are naturally being consumed by the city centre.
 

Zenith63

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I can totally see the value of a well-kept co-living setup where somebody comes in to clean the kitchen and other common areas regularly, the rooms are well built/sound-insulated/heated etc. I can think of loads of friends who would have chosen that over sharing rooms in grotty old houses and fighting with housemates over who does the cleaning and all that goes with that - essentially a good quality long-term hostel. I'd imagine there are rafts of decently paid Facebook/Google/Amazon type workers who would be keen on this.

However having visited some horrible bedsits over the years that were occupied by very poor families, we really must not let these happen again. Is anybody here familiar with the legislation around co-living, to know if there are strong enough controls in-place to ensure they are good places to live and not just the next bedsits?

The locations of some of the developments approved this week in very disadvantaged areas would have me concerned we're heading more towards the latter than the former.
 

Drakon

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Bedsits? Jaysus, Id forgotten about bedsits.
I only had the pleasure once. Had just got my first job after college. IIRC it was €35 per week. Plenty of happy memories. Better than any house share with strangers.
 

Sophrosyne

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Is anybody here familiar with the legislation around co-living, to know if there are strong enough controls in-place to ensure they are good places to live and not just the next bedsits?
Guidelines for Planning Authorities here.

Shared Accommodation Developments or Co-Living starts at page 31.

Due to an amendment to Planning and Development Act, 2000, section 28, proposals to build can bypass Local Authorities and be submitted directly to An Bord Pleanála.
 

Zenith63

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Guidelines for Planning Authorities here.

Shared Accommodation Developments or Co-Living starts at page 31.
That's more of a high-level positioning paper though, statements like "The provision of dedicated amenities and facilities specifically for residents is usually a characteristic element." are fairly meaningless.

I was wondering if there are actual rules that say co-living developments must meet requirements X, Y and Z. Presumably there is something like this that lead to bedsits being deemed illegal.

I guess my point is that with the right regulations in-place I would have no issue with co-living, as I say I have friends working in IT who would have preferred this kind of arrangement to renting a room in a grotty house and would have paid more to do so, but the stretch to their own 1-bed apartment was too much. But without the right regulations to maintain a certain standard they sound like a disaster.
 
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Leo

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For whom are they suitable?
If managed correctly, they're ideal for young single professionals that come here in their thousands to fill the gaps we have in sectors like IT. When we bring people in, we source and pay for accommodation for the first few months, but many of these struggle to find somewhere suitable to live. Young and single, they want a shared living experience where they can build a social circle outside of work in a new country. We've had a few who chose to live in hostels as it's very difficult to get two/three friends of colleagues together to rent a house or apartment and then find somewhere suitable and affordable. When I came to Dublin first in the '90s I'd have been happy to live in one of these while I found my feet.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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as I say I have friends working in IT who would have preferred this kind of arrangement to renting a room in a grotty house and would have paid more to do so
Not just IT, all sorts of people would pay for their own living space and bathroom.

This stuff wouldn't be built if there wasn't a market demand.
 

Zenith63

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Not just IT, all sorts of people would pay for their own living space and bathroom.

This stuff wouldn't be built if there wasn't a market demand.
I guess my point is we need to set a higher bar than just whether people move in. All the bedsits were full, but I don't (personally) think we should go back to allowing housing of that standard. If there are regs in-place to ensure these co-living spaces are decent quality then game-on, but if there aren't and they can just become bedsits again in very poor condition with people crammed in, then game-off for me :)
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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All the bedsits were full, but I don't (personally) think we should go back to allowing housing of that standard.
Single people can happily live in 20sqm if they want a nice location and don't spend much time at home.

The issue with very small units is that quite often large number of people move in.

Policy response is just no to allow small units. It's well intentioned but hardly ideal.
 

dereko1969

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The problem I see with co-living is that there are too many of them being applied for, this is the whole problem with developer-led infrastructure, a few years ago it was hotels, now it's co-living it's all being determined by pension funds and builders rather than planners.
 

Delboy

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The problem I see with co-living is that there are too many of them being applied for, this is the whole problem with developer-led infrastructure, a few years ago it was hotels, now it's co-living it's all being determined by pension funds and builders rather than planners.
Are Student Accomm blocks a Trojan horse?
The apartments and town houses are located on Dominick Street and on Munster Avenue.
The properties in question have been used for student accommodation and short-term tourist rental purposes in the past.

The department has agreed to lease the units for an initial duration of two years.
Comprising 30 apartments and five town houses, the "Own-Door Accommodation Centre" in Galway will open this week.
 
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