Boarding houses, owners and tenants: The demise of an old form of working-class housing


Carmody, Daniel William. (2008). Boarding houses, owners and tenants: The demise of an old form of working-class housing [Thesis].
AuthorsCarmody, Daniel William
Qualification nameMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)

Boarding Houses, Owners and Tenants: The demise of an old form of working-class housing. This research investigates an often forgotten area of affordable housing, the boarding house and as such the thesis fits into the broader frame work on affordable housing, which is an issue of growing magnitude. Internationally as well as nationally this form of housing has helped many people over the last 160 years, and in Australia the main group to be housed has been the working class. Currently, the majority of boarding house occupants are people on pensions and assorted benefits. Boarding house tenants include aged pensioners, a few workers and many people from various institutions, tending to make many boarding houses appear as a pseudo respite facility. Currently, the general population of boarding houses is about 75 percent male and 25 percent female with most people on very limited incomes. These features often make the boarding house, the housing of last resort. This thesis explores the loss of boarding houses in Brisbane. It covers many structural aspects which have affected the continuance of this old form of housing. Included in the exploration are factors like the influence of globalisation which has bought about many changes to the city, including urban renewal, and an intensified housing market activity. The thesis also investigates the social consequences of these changes to the tenants of boarding houses. From a position of Structuration the methods used here were a combination of secondary data (ABS) analysis and primary data analysis in the form of interviews with owners' and tenants' of boarding houses. Due to the small number of responses, secondary data was included. Australia wide there has been a loss of 30 percent of boarding house stock between 2001 and 2006.;Structural changes such as the deinstitutionalisation and the construction of Aged Pensioner units have contributed to changing the client base to a more problematic one which does not entice owners of boarding houses stay in business. Further, the growing costs for many boarding house owners, as well as their advancing age works against many of them staying in the boarding house industry. The tenants have suggested that some boarding houses remain in poor condition like those some of those boarding houses of the past. The size and condition of the rooms and conditions of the boarding house are at best rudimentary at best in many boarding houses.

PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Research GroupSchool of Arts
Final version
Publication dates01 Jan 2008
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