The Economic Perspective: “Boarding Room Homes”

I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at boarding room homes. Mike, in most big cities there is a housing affordability issue.  So many people and businesses have moved to cities that land prices there have skyrocketed.  In order to pay the land prices, builders have to construct more expensive residences, which they prices out households of modest means.  Are there any innovator solutions to this problem?

  • One is to revive a housing option from the past – boarding room homes
  • Situation where unrelated individuals rent their own room but share general rooms like the kitchen, dining room, and living or lounge room
  • Versions from the past would come with meals
  • Most cities now prevent boarding room homes, but there’s a movement to bring them back
  • There’s a national firm that is working to bring them back, by lining up investors and working with local laws and ordinances
  • Some worry about privacy and whether the concept is safe for children
  • But is a solution getting a second look
  • I’m MW

Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.