This category covers establishments primarily engaged in renting rooms, with or without board, on a fee basis. Rental of apartments, apartment hotels, and other housing units are classified in Real Estate Operators (Except Developers) and Lessors industries. Rooming and boarding houses operated by membership organizations for their members only are classified in SIC 7041: Organization Hotels and Lodging Houses, on Membership Basis. Homes for the aged, children, and the handicapped that also provide additional services, other than nursing care, are classified in SIC 8361: Residential Care, and homes that provide nursing care are classified in Nursing and Personal Care Facilities industries.
Rooming and Boarding Houses
Rooming and boarding houses provide generally low-cost lodging on either a temporary or a long-term basis. Although the distinction between rooming, boarding, and lodging houses is not always clear, a rooming house is typically an establishment that provides only for the rental of rooms, while a boarding house provides meals and may offer such amenities as maid service and laundry service. At one time, rooming and boarding houses were a common, and often desirable, form of housing that catered to members of a wide range of social classes and professional occupations, but this sector of the lodging industry has generally been in decline. A 1985 Engineering News-Record report on a housing alternatives symposium characterized rooming and boarding houses as "bygone housing styles." Commercial rooming and boarding house establishments, while not "bygone," have undeniably become associated with the less fortunate classes. Nonetheless, rooming and boarding houses play an important role within the lodging industry and, as New Jersey architect Michael Mostoller argued in the course of the Engineering News-Record symposium, "the boardinghouse and roominghouse…must be reconsidered" as an economical and potentially convivial form of commercial congregate housing.
By the mid-2000s boarding houses were primarily located in heavily populated urban areas where affordable housing was difficult to find and there was a high demand from transient and migrant workers. Housing and zoning reforms of the 1990s and early 2000s primarily worked against the industry as many communities cracked down on illegal boarding houses, which also made business more difficult for legitimate establishments. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 2,500 rooming and boarding houses operated in the United States, generating approximately $720 million in revenues annually. The industry, which employed about 11,800, was highly diversified with the top 100 firms accounting for just 4 percent of revenues.
The rooming and boarding house sector of the lodging industry includes non-organizational rooming houses, lodging houses, boarding houses, and dormitories that do not provide for such special services as nursing or personal care. Rooming and boarding houses can offer single rooms, shared double rooms, efficiencies, or suites; private, shared, or communal living and eating areas; and private, shared, or communal bathrooms. Approximately two-thirds of commercial rooming and boarding house establishments are owned by sole proprietors or partnerships rather than by corporations. Most rooming and boarding houses are relatively small operations.
Rooming and boarding house establishments are subject to Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Housing Administration, and...