Home >politics >policy >Alternative living solutions for India’s millennials

Many millennials, those in their 20s and early 30s, comprising outstation students and young professionals, need a place to stay when they move out of their parents’ nest.

A slew of start-ups are capitalising on this opportunity, offering young adults co-living facilities, an alternative to moving in with room mates or renting a small pad.

Co-living facilities offer a private living space and combine it with shared facilities such as laundry, gym, Wi-Fi and common kitchen and housekeeping, among others.

Just like co-working spaces have provided entrepreneurs with the flexibility and affordability they need, shared living is set to change the way millennials live in our cities with ever increasing rents and poor quality of accommodation.

For someone in his first job, with a monthly take-home salary of 30,000-40,000 and living away from their home, shared living is a more secure, cheaper and quicker alternative than buying or renting a house.

It is also a better managed set-up, with more amenities, than the generic paying guest facility.

Co-living spaces with a community-like experience, student housing and even family rental solutions are rapidly picking up in cities such as Bengaluru, Pune and Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), which are preferred by higher education students and young, single professionals from other states to study and work in.

“Shared living aims to address the influx of people into cities and captures the gamut of housing needs by offering products with different rentals based on affordability and current status. They are mostly located conveniently, closer to workplaces or educational institutions," said Amarendra Sahu, co-founder and CEO of home rental network Nestaway Technologies Pvt Ltd.

Currently, an estimated 16.8 million sq. ft rental portfolio is with Nestaway, across Bengaluru, Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Pune, Hyderabad, Ghaziabad and Mumbai, and earns over $4 million (₹26 crore) in monthly rentals.

Also Read: Millennials to redefine India’s consumption story: report

The business model of most co-living start-ups is simple. The co-living or student living provider can take a property on sub-lease and manage it. The provider can also build such accommodation on its own and run it or properties can be taken on long-lease and then the rentals can be shared with the owner.

Often, an entire building is taken up by a firm and the interiors are re-done to create private and public spaces.

Viral Chhajer, co-founder and CEO of StayAbode, said co-living is basically about combining private spaces (bedroom and bathroom) with community areas that can be shared.

“There could be thirty rooms along with a community kitchen and small shared spaces, which can bring down the cost of living and make it more affordable to stay close to city-centric workplaces. A group of 10-15 people can get together and make their own food or hire a cook. Others can choose to cook on their own," he said.

Also Read: Young millennials are snacking on careers

StayAbode charges around 8,500 for a double sharing room, including all bills but excluding food. It shared a flat rent with the owner of the property.

The demand for both shared and student accommodation is only on the rise.

The home renting space is a $32 billion market, according to FastFox, a start-up that deals in the home rental space.

Pune-based Youthville Serviced Hostel, backed by real estate firm Kohinoor Group, runs a 150-bed girls hostel in the city and is planning to expand across India over the next seven years with 20,000 beds, said Youthville founder Vineet Goyal.

A triple sharing room in a Youthville accommodation costs around 135,000 per bed a year, higher than the average but lower than what many premium student facilities charge.

Suresh Rangarajan, founder and CEO of CoLive, a shared living space firm set up in 2016, plans to reach out to students in educational hubs in the south, beyond its base in Bengaluru.

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