This is inspired by the "Oprah/Minimum Wage" thread. I didn't want to post there and hijack that thread. I just found out last night from my MIL that my husband's cousin recently moved back to our area. She is working at a nursing home making around $11 an hour and living with a girlfriend (who also works with her) in one of those extended stay motels. At first I felt so bad/sad to hear that she was having to live in a "motel." Then my MIL proceeds to tell me, oh, no, they LOVE it. They were going to live there temporarily, and now don't want to leave! It costs $180-$200 a week, so they are each paying only $90-$100 a week. They have two beds (not sure if twin or double, but that wouldn't matter), a bathroom, SMALL sitting area and SMALL kitchenette. Unlike an apartment, they didn't need a deposit, which saved them money they didn't have. For that $90-$100 a week each they are getting a safe place to stay (I know where it is, and it's pretty nice), maid service, clean towels and bed linens that they don't have to wash. Maid service might be weekly, not daily, but still. They have NO utility bills, as, like with any hotel, water, electric and phone (local calls only) are included. (Keep the room as cool as you want in the summer, take a hot shower for as long as you want). They also have free basic cable, and of course, a free TV to watch. They can use the pool and have a community laundry room on the premises. My MIL (her aunt) asked this cousin how long she could stay there and she said some of her "neighbors" had been there for years. She and the friend/roommate don't always work the same shift, which gives them some alone time. In watching the Oprah show on minimum wage and discussing housing costs in that thread, this seemed like a great solution to the housing problem FOR SOME. I KNOW this wouldn't work for everyone and wouldn't work forever, but is an idea. I find it very interesting, and perhaps ingenious. No deposit, no utility bills, lots of perks. Interesting.