A number of housing companies are promoting ready-made roommates as an easy, affordable way to start in the megacity, but experts say the trend can jack up rents and displace underprivileged or those with a modest income.

In New York City, with its eight and a half million inhabitants, space is at a premium.
In New York City, with its eight and a half million inhabitants, space is at a premium. (Reuters)

Moving to a new city can be a daunting prospect, especially if rents are high and space is limited.

But housing companies have come up with a solution - shared living.

It's not a new concept, but a number of firms are promoting ready-made roommates as an easy, affordable way to start in a new location.

These apartments come with friends included.

They're thrown in with the rent to help kick-start a newcomer's move to the city. 

"I was part of a strong Australian community in New York but I really wasn't that connected to much other strong groupings. So I really just felt part of a community and I really just loved that," said Sophie Wilkinson, Head of Construction and Design, Common, which offers shared housing.

TRT World's Nick Harper has more from New York.

Concern over rents

Shared housing is not uncommon, especially for students. 

But the company saw a market for professionals who want companionship.

Urban planning expert Thomas Angotti, however, said that it has the potential to drive rental prices up and force diverse, local communities out.

"What this does is jack up rents, it contributes to this general trend of gentrification and displacement throughout New York City, whose victims are people with modest incomes, new immigrants who don't have alternatives, and particularly in a city that is highly segregated, people of colour," said Professor Thomas Angotti of Hunter College Community Planning and Development.

Source: TRT World