With no business, working women’s hostels in the neighbourhood are on the verge of closing down. The hostels have been empty since late March as all its occupants left to their native places after lockdown.
Says the owner of a women’s hostel at Solaiappan Street, Mylapore, “In May, when the government introduced some relaxations, a few girls started coming back. But when the relaxations were tightened they couldn’t return due to lack of transportation facilities.”
This hostel mostly houses IT goers and since they are given work from home (WFH) facility, the owner says girls are not planning to return any time soon.
“And hence, most are not paying room rent as well. Due to this, we are unable to pay the building rent. The building owner gave us a concession for two months (March and April) but now he is asking to pay rent or close down.”
“The girls too are facing salary cuts and hence it will be unfair to ask them the rent now. So we will close down by July end, she says.
The owner says she has already asked all occupants to vacate their rooms.
Says the owner of another women’s hostel off San Thome High Road, “Paying building rent and salaries for our cooks and domestic helpers have become very difficult as the girls are not paying even 50 % of the rent.”
He says that some girls have already vacated their rooms as they could not pay room rent. “Many who could not travel to Chennai, sent their relatives in the city to vacate their rooms.”
“We will wait and watch for a few more weeks. If this situation continues, then we will have to close down.”