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High rents force families to share living with bachelors
 Sat, 29 Nov 2014
 
  n this week’s Arab Times online poll, readers responded to the recent report of government authorities getting ready to tackle the issue of bachelors living in family accommodations.

A majority of over half of the total respondents shared that high rents forced families to share accommodation with bachelors. Authorities announced the action would be taken against such cohabitation in light of perceived social, demographic and security risks, while providing alternative solutions to residents of affected buildings.

Minister of Communications and Municipality Affairs Essa Al- Kandari who referred to the situation as a ticking time bomb, remarked that authorities will no longer handle such violations with levity, and the ministry will implement the law against bachelors living inside family accommodations.

57% of respondents shared that high rents forced families to share accommodation with bachelors. Classified sections of web portals in Kuwait are filled with families advertising spare and partitioned rooms for rent. “There are many families, like mine, that cannot afford to pay the entire rent for a flat anymore. I’m sure everybody would like to live by themselves, but we are forced to share accommodation because the cost is so exorbitant for middle class families”, a voter shared.

Another resident of Salmiyah highlighted that while sharing accommodations were forbidden in the building contract, her family paid the haris a bribe of KD 20 each month to keep quiet about it. Furthermore, a single male banking professional highlighted how difficult it was to find accommodation and stressed the need to provide apartment buildings for bachelors to reside in before penalizing the course of action available to some.

Others pointed out that this problem would be solved with requiring companies to provide suitable housing.

7% of voters felt that families take a risk by keeping bachelors. In fact, Al- Kandari’s concerns arise from areas in the Farwaniya Governorate which he deems have become dangerous, while also placing additional burden on services and infrastructure, and worsening traffic with the hordes of bachelors residing in the areas. Farwaniya Governor Sheikh Faisal Al-Hamoud has also spoken out, noting that the problem is disturbing citizens.

He noted that Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Hassawi and Kheitan are the most affected areas. “As much as this law sounds discriminatory against low income male workers, families do feel safer residing in family-only buildings. My apartment building rents out only to families, so it doesn’t worry me that my wife is alone at home and if my kids play outside in the corridor”, a respondent shared.

13% of respondents shared that bachelors with same culture, nationality or language should be allowed to reside with families as this mitigates security risks. “I would not mind sharing accommodations with someone from my hometown.”

19% of voters stated that separate areas should be allotted for bachelors. Al Kandari revealed the government intends to amend Municipality Law Number 5/2005 as part of the priorities to enable the Municipality to cover legislation inadequacies while imposing severe punishments on those who violate building regulations and deter whoever plays with rules and regulations.

He stressed the need to provide alternatives for bachelors in coordination with private companies, Kuwaiti Municipality and Public Authority for Housing Welfare.

4% of respondents sharing the concern that bachelors generally don’t concentrate on hygiene. “When bachelors take up a flat, you can easily find 4-6 of them renting out a two bedroom flat. They create more waste than a typical household would.”

 
 
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