This shed has been illegally converted into housing. Two prams and three mattresses are visible.
Informal Accommodation and Vulnerable Households, author provided courtesy of Fairfield City Council
With Australian city rents too high for low-income earners, increasing numbers are forced to share houses or rooms or to live in options like ‘beds in sheds’ and other illegal dwellings.
Beds for rent: a shared room listed in Castlereagh Street, Sydney.
Living in shared rooms is on the rise, because it’s more affordable – and more profitable for landlords. But it’s also a more precarious, often overcrowded and poorly regulated form of housing.
The return of the historic problem of overcrowded dwellings points to a need in Australia for better understanding of the causes and regulatory responses.
Jacob Riis (1889)
The standards we use today were designed to help avoid the overcrowded housing that blighted cities in the past. But severe overcrowding is again on the rise, so what needs to be done?
A living room rented by the minute and another room shared for sleeping – the age of the ‘distributed’ home is upon us.
So you’re having to room share to live in the city. What if you need more than a place to sleep? Well, now you can rent a living room by the minute. Welcome to the world of distributed living.
“Looking for one girl to share a master room with another 3 girls.”
Screenshot from Gumtree ad, August 19 2017, 11:58
City living costs are driving people to organise themselves to share a room with strangers. These precarious living arrangements hardly qualify as a home.