Room For Tea: a housing solution with a difference

Sometimes, the best ideas are the simplest. When Milena Bottero finished her degree in Environmental Policy at the LSE and began interning in the capital, like many recent graduates starting their careers in London, she found she could not afford the rent.

She came up with a simple idea - to match cash strapped interns in London with homeowners who have a spare room going. She introduced the concept  in June 2011 at the Social Innovation Camp, a two-day camp bringing together software developers and social innovators to create technology-based social ventures and has this year received funding from social investor Nominet Trust to enable her to develop the project further.

She says that, “Room For Tea provides affordable accommodation for young people undertaking short-term work placements. This offers anyone, from anywhere a fair chance to pursue their dream career. It is a simple and hassle-free way to put your spare room to a good use. As a host you will receive a stable and tax-free income and help a young person into employment.”

All guests are verified by Room for Tea through reference checks, and are responsible and hard-working individuals.

‘’It feels like having a granddaughter at home’’, says Davina, retired resident in North London. Her guest Elnaz has been staying with her since the beginning of Summer. Elnaz moved down to London from Manchester to complete an intership with a Fashion brand this summer.

Room For Tea  are currently expanding and looking for new hosts with single or double rooms in London zones 2, 3 or 4, for more information please visit

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