Building Community in Studio World

Last month I took my daughter to New York for Spring Break. We stayed with a friend in her studio apartment in Manhattan. And it was awesome. But after a week with her, it was obvious she was lonely. As a result, she'll not be staying long. There were plenty of opportunities in the city, but her home was not a place of connection. Her solo living situation is an increasing trend. According to Ryan Epstein, senior vice president of capital market and multihousing for CBRE Group Inc’s Houston office, “People right out of college no longer want roommates. It’s a direct result of the student housing resorts that they are used to living in. They are no longer sharing rooms or even bathrooms.”

There are numerous reasons for this trend in urban areas but at CARES we are also aware that without a friendship connection at their place of residence, renters are exponentially more likely to move. This demographic creates an tricky tension. These renters desire to experience a sense of independence in their housing, but also crave community; a basic human need.

Without a clubhouse or common area besides the lobby, there are challenges to building community. But it's not impossible. Our friend's building had a beautiful roof terrace; a monthly happy hour or wine and cheese event was begging to be arranged! And, don't forget about the community opportunities in the laundry room.

What challenges are you experiencing with this new roommate-less resident? What has worked to help them connect to each other?