What is a Boarding House?

What is a boarding house has changed over the years. Traditionally it has individual rooms with shared facilities but today a new generation boarding house can have fully self-contained suites with their own kitchen. So, a boarding house is not necessarily what you think it is.

Max Fragar, our founder, Life Fellow PIA and Registered Planner, discusses the evolution of boarding houses and their value to communities.

Click on the “Play” button below to watch now:

Or for those that prefer to read, here is a transcript of the video…

So what is the boarding house?

My name is Max Fragar, Council Approval Group. A boarding house is something that has been about for years. When I was a child, they were basically a place where old men went to die. Now, they’ve been lifted up. The state government has brought in legislation that overrides councils LEPs, and in essence, it has meant that councils need to seriously consider proposals for boarding houses.

As a result, we have ‘new age boarding houses.’ They have floor area limits and floor area minimums, but the rooms would be about 20-25 square metres, fully self-contained. It would have a little kitchen, a lovely bathroom, maybe laundry, cupboard, a little deck, and be close to services. They may even be fully furnished. So they are very, very well made but they’re highly regulated.

They shouldn’t have been called a boarding house, a micro-apartment would have been a better term. They really fill a niche.

Why do we need them?

I am qualified in social science and am able to say boarding houses are a really valuable type of housing for a community.

Most now are self-contained and close to services. They’re serving so many people like nurses, doctors, young doctors, teachers, and police. They’re the type of people.

There is mainly one person to a room but there are regulations to allow two people to the room. So we get a bit of a one-person two-person mix, but they’re really good.

We love doing them and we need to do them properly. For those people who have a site in mind, I encourage you to give us a call and book in for your free consultation. We would love to unpack the complexity for you and help you to have a clear road map going forward.