Coliving spaces is one of the newest trends in the age of sharing across Australia and the rest of the world.
Coliving offers inexpensive shared housing that is great for socializing and cutting costs, while also offering access to some luxurious amenities such as pools and yoga studios.
Costs typically include furnishings, cleaning, bills and other services in the form of a single membership fee.
This type of living situated is geared towards digital nomads, or professionals who can work from anywhere in the world.
While coliving has plenty of perks, University of Sydney Business School researcher Tim Mahlberg said that targeting high income professionals has turned coliving into an exclusive club for the young and wealthy. This is especially true in developing countries that do not get to reap any of the benefits of what could be affordable housing.
Leo Patterson Ross, Tenants’ Union of NSW senior policy officer, said that coliving is a viable housing option, but that “it’s gentrified shared housing, which was already a response to unaffordable housing.”
“Our concern is it isn’t really solving a problem but leveraging a problem to make money,” said Ross.
So how can coliving operators develop housing accommodations that are both affordable and inclusive to more demographics?
First is ensuring that it is bringing down the cost of land in a fair manner. Then, using the power of the community to make the most out of a shared environment, such as better laundering facilities and shared transportation.
Still, Ross said that coliving is at the premium end of a bigger problem born out of government inaction on affordable housing.