KOCHI: Despite the economic slowdown and the resultant job cuts and pay cuts, the rentals of city houses and apartments have not gone down, and people are struggling to find affordable housing. Many employees are reluctant to travel by public transport due to the fear of community spread of Covid-19 and hence are in search of a suitable accommodation.

Amalu S K of Angamaly, who is employed in a public-sector company, said: “Hostels are not a safe option. The inmates work at different places and interact with lots of people. Travelling up and down from Angamaly is trying. I am looking out for a 2BHK apartment in the city. The brokers are quoting Rs 15,000 per month and also demanding a three-month advance. We are facing pay cuts and its nearly impossible to pay such a huge amount.”

Many tenants say the owners are reluctant to reduce rentals. In a city like Kochi not all flat owners are dependent on the rentals for survival. “These are unusual circumstances, and everyone is struggling to survive. We have learnt that it is the brokers who raise the rent so as to get more commission,” said Renjith K P, a government employee from Kodungalloor.

The tenants are of the view that the state government should bring certain regulations regarding rent in various urban and rural zones.

Meanwhile, some of the house owners say that they understand the concerns of tenants and the prevailing economic situation. “We have agreed to reduce the rent of our apartment in the city,” said Shilpa and Anand, a couple working in the private sector.

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