THE Nativity story where there is no room at the inn, other than in a stable, has me thinking about scarcity of rooms.

The modern issue is York’s limited affordable housing. Housing list numbers are growing and this will continue as Government enforced cuts to housing and council tax benefits are coming.

New building is costly. So we must also make better use of existing housing stock.


Increase the supply of rooms to lodgers.

If people with spare rooms were to make “get a lodger” a New Year’s resolution, it would really help York’s economy.

Since 2005 I’ve had a lodger, often two. I highly recommend it. The first £4,250 rent is tax free. Like lift sharing, it’s green.

Bills are shared. With better fire safety equipment installed, I’ve enjoyed good company, free babysitting, shared meals, cultural exchange, friendship and more.

While lodging would not suit everyone (eg families and those needing secure tenure), it is much cheaper than other rentals.

Two really can live (almost) as cheaply as one. As it suits some – eg students, anyone not wanting a long contract – it frees up the private accommodation they would otherwise have occupied. Win-win.

Coun Anna Semlyen, Labour, Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, Grange St, York.