Desperate commuters travelling hours every day to work have been handed a lifeline, with a new weekday lodging service allowing them to reside close to their jobs.
With Sydney’s traffic and transport problems seemingly only getting worse and the population growing at an astonishing rate, residents living far from the CBD are only going to struggle more to get to work.
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New business WeekDay Space could be the solution, giving homeowners with a spare room the chance to rent it out to a lodger during the week, providing them with extra money while still having their freedom on weekends.
Already a popular concept in the United Kingdom within heavily populated cities like London, co-creator Jessica Lai said it will allow greater flexibility for both parties.
Ms Lai established the business with Rani Cohen, who at the time was commuting between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and was looking for an alternative.
“Family dynamics have changed a lot and there are more people living alone. We are moving with the times in terms of flexibility,” Ms Lai said.
“Families are choosing to move out of Sydney for financial or lifestyle reasons but still commuting into town. With traffic getting worse and worse it takes such a toll on families and their wellbeing.”
The housing boom in Sydney over the past 10 years has forced many people to live further from the CBD or even relocate to regional areas, making it more than attractive for those still working in the CBD.
“We very much had Sydney in mind,” Ms Lai said.
“There is so much more casual work and the other options for people are either running two households or putting up with a long commute.”
Interest has been strongest in Brisbane and Sydney, with most empty- nesters and older Australians keen to take advantage of the money and company.
Lodgers are able to list their own preferences with landlords also able to create their own listings. They sort out the arrangements among themselves, with safety tips to consider available on the site.
Potential lodger Neil Benedictos has been staying with friends in western Sydney and travelling to his work at Potts Point on weekdays, before heading back to his home in Canberra on weekends.
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He is looking to cut down his daily commute, which requires him to wake up at 5am every day, so that he can resume a normal life that will allow him to have time to go the gym and visit family and friends.
“I feel like I live on a train at the moment so it would be nice to have somewhere to stay,” he said.
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“I thought about renting an apartment near the city but I can’t find anything decent nearby without increasing my budget. This is definitely cheaper and you don’t have to pay for the weekend. It would be ideal as it allows me to rent a room and save money at the same time.”
Dr Greg Schwager is on the other side of the coin, working long hours during the week and with a spare room to rent out.
Wanting to upgrade from his apartment to a house, the ability to rent out a room while maintaining freedom and flexibility makes WeekDay Space a winner.
“This is a way for me to make some extra money and maximise the space I have without too much compromise to my time. I have weekends to myself which is really important to me,” he said.