Rooming Houses Saved! Long-live Living Together!
We love co-living because it offers such an awesome way to share costs, life experiences, and community, together. But Milyou's approach to co-living is just one form of shared accommodation. Shared accommodation isn't new, but it is being reinvented (like so much else these days) all the time.
Toronto has had a very long history of shared accommodation, primarily in the form of rooming houses and bachelorettes - homes converted to be rented as very small self-contained suites for individuals. Toronto rooming houses look and operate VERY differently from Milyou Co-living communities, but they are just as important to their residents.
Dwelling rooms in Toronto rooming houses sometimes rent for as little as $300 to $700 per month to long-time residents. They're an incredibly important source of affordable housing in the City, and given the high costs of land and construction in 2019, they're totally irreplaceable. They house about 5,000 people in Toronto, many of whom would otherwise be very insecure in their housing options and at risk of homelessness.
That's why Milyou's celebrating the City of Toronto's Planning + Housing committee's decision to protect existing rooming houses. We're also super impressed with the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust, who recently bought a rooming house in Parkdale and put it into community ownership to protect it and it's residents long term! These are important steps to protect those most vulnerable, and renewed votes of confidence in the power of shared accommodation to ensure all of us have a safe place to sleep each night.
And for those more interested, here's what we've been reading...
Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust: "No Room for Unkept Promises" (2017)
Toronto Star: "Parkdale rooming house saved from open market"
Philippa Campsie: "Rooming houses in Toronto, 1997-2018"
City of Toronto: "Addressing the Loss of Dwelling Rooms"