Posted: Posted Date – 12:19 AM, Fri – 20 May 22
Hyderabad: For those away from home, secure housing is a boon. Female software workers and those linked to IT and ITES companies, who are now returning to work after long months of the work-from-home era, are struggling to find housing, especially ones that offer safety and security.
With IT businesses remaining closed for nearly two years due to the Covid lockdown and businesses introducing WFH systems, many hostels and paid accommodation have been converted to ‘All Men Accommodation’ by managements. There were several hundred hostels in and around the IT Corridor before Covid triggered the lockdown.
About 50% of these homes were reserved for women.
“When IT companies closed during the pandemic, these hostels were also closed for almost a year and a half. Eventually, when things became normal, the management, noticing a high demand for men’s hostels, started providing accommodation for men,” said Murali Krishna, who runs a women’s hostel in Gachibowli.
Only a small proportion of hostels are currently women-only and there is huge demand for this, he adds. “Unless new hostels are opened, women will struggle to find accommodation. Things will be sorted out as we expect hostels that were closed earlier to reopen in the coming months,” he said. However, the managements are having problems reopening the hostels since the owners are asking to revise the rent.
“For almost two years, their buildings were vacant or they collected half of the rents. So naturally, they’ll expect us to raise the rent. So many people are unwilling to start hostels at this time that boarders will not be willing to pay revised fees,” said Kishore Reddy, who runs a hostel in Kondapur.
Running a hostel only pays off when there is around 90% occupancy. ” The competition is tough. We cannot charge boarders more, otherwise they will move to other premises. Again prices for almost everything have gone up and at PG accommodations we also have to provide food. We won’t have anything left,” said a woman running from the hostel in Kukatpally.
On average, hostels charge Rs 12,000 for a single room, Rs 9,500 for a double room, Rs 7,000 for a three-room and Rs 5,500 for a four-room. Unable to find a proper hostel, the women seek self-contained private accommodation in the nearby settlements of Madhapur, Kondapur and Raidurgam.
“A group of three to four women rent an apartment and live together. It is more expensive but there is no other alternative,” said Meenakshi, who works as a security supervisor at an IT company.
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