GOOD COM­PANY

New ven­tures are ad­dress­ing an age-old prob­lem for those mov­ing to Delhi on a small bud­get—a place to call home

India Today - - LEISURE - —Kar­ishma Kuen­zang

Aclus­ter of new ven­tures is tak­ing on what’s long been the big­gest headache for stu­dents and young pro­fes­sion­als mov­ing to In­dian met­ros for col­lege or work: Find­ing af­ford­able and com­fort­able hous­ing.

Gu­ru­gram-based CoHo, for in­stance, of­fers rel­a­tively cheap and wellap­pointed (they have a PlayS­ta­tion) rooms for stu­dents and bach­e­lors, in fully fur­nished apart­ments and vil­las. To en­cour­age a sense of com­mu­nity, they even or­gan­ise events for res­i­dents, like movie screen­ings and even a dog ther­apy ses­sion.

“Three years ago, when my sis­ter moved here, she had a lot of trou­ble find­ing a de­cent place to live, one safe and af­ford­able,” says 20-year-old Ta­manna, a CoHo res­i­dent who moved from Patna two years ago to pur­sue a course at Delhi Univer­sity. Her CoHo hous­ing not only has power backup and air con­di­tion­ing but also “a com­fort­able and kind of ac­cept­ing en­vi­ron­ment, which is cru­cial when you move to a new city”.

Gen­eral man­ager John Ja­cob says the com­pany caters to stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als aged around 18 to 30. Its 24 Gu­ru­gram prop­er­ties are home to more than 500 res­i­dents, while its five North Cam­pus fa­cil­i­ties house an­other 100. One USP: There’s no cur­few and no re­stric­tions on overnight guests.

“What clicks with our clients is that we pro­vide main­te­nance for ev­ery­thing—WiFi, re­pairs, bro­ker deal­ing—in­cluded in the rent, along with the wa­ter bill,” says Ja­cob.

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