With the start of the university year just around the corner, the stress to find a roof to put over your head is real. As students endlessly scroll through Trade Me listings and visit what feels like hundreds of viewings, expectations for the new year’s living situation begin to plummet. Everyone is told they need to go into the market with an open mind, but we optimistically think these compromises might be a poky kitchen or only one bathroom. But in order to afford Auckland’s notoriously rip-off rental prices, some are making the ultimate sacrifice—a bed to themselves.
That’s right, Aucklanders are resorting to snuggling up with a stranger each night just to live in the big smoke. The unbelievable thing is, this extreme close-quarter living arrangement still doesn’t come cheap. One young woman forked out $195 a week to sleep in the same bed as another woman for six months, Stuff reports.
The young woman, who wanted to be known as Rozaleigh, said the far-from-ideal arrangement was unavoidable because she simply could not find a single room in the CBD that was in her price range. "The majority of the time we had different shifts so it was all good and [we'd] just keep to ourselves. But when it was us together it was really awkward," she said.
This sobering story isn't even an anomaly. A Facebook post searching for a girl to share a bed with in the CBD for $125 per week attracted several people. Another Facebook listing offered a bed, for $100 per week, in the living room of a flat that was already home to three others.
James Ranstead, National President of the New Zealand Union of Student Associations said the rental market was so brutal students would "simply take what they can get". Sometimes this means living in cold, damp houses with black mould and up to five other flatties. "It's really a national issue and it really doesn't surprise me that students are now going to these lengths.”