I work remotely. An annual conference relevant to my work is going to happen in my town. My manager has said that we can go, but only if my coworker can stay with me at my house (i.e., only if there is no lodging expense).
Our organization has plenty of revenue, although I'm sure there are departmental budget constraints. For the last several years, the company paid for lodging for my coworkers at this same conference. Of course I didn't need lodging - so the expense was already reduced.
Frankly I would have already offered (I thought about doing it last year) but my wife is very private and I know she would never tolerate the idea. Also, we don't have a guest bedroom, and we have small children who sometimes wake up at night. So hosting someone (especially someone who is a stranger to anyone in the house but me) would be uncomfortable.
Does this request seem wrong? It makes me uncomfortable but I'm not sure it's really crossing a line. What do you think?
Edit: This question has gotten way more attention than I expected. Thanks for all the thoughtful answers! I talked this over with my manager today. I simply said "sorry but that wouldn't be comfortable for the family". He said "ok, understood". He also said he put in a request for us to attend next year, so hopefully it will be properly budgeted then. I'm not interested in pursuing the matter any further. I may attend the conference on my own dime- I haven't decided yet. In any case, there are no hard feelings on any side.