If you don’t mind living small, listen up. As the LA Times recently reported, Boston and New York are launching pilot projects for super-tiny apartments, and San Francisco’s officials are currently debating to go smallest of all: 150 square feet, plus bathroom, kitchen, and closet.
How much would you pay to rent an apartment that small? Experts estimate somewhere between $1,200 to $1,700 per month. Sounds a little steep for the size, until you consider that San Francisco studios often run over $2,000.
In SF, at least, this idea comes during a tech boom, with more and more people looking to live in the city, and many people and families driven out when they can no longer afford rents that increase with demand. Smaller units mean more units, and more affordable units—that’s the argument for lowering square footage minimums.
Critics are concerned that, unlike with NYC’s test program, SF wouldn’t limit the number of tiny new apartments being built. They also worry that developers would build shoddier versions of the light-filled, multi-purpose units currently proposed. A population spike could also overload city infrastructure, such as parks and public transportation.
There’s also debate about whether small units benefit lower-income renters. Some say that families won’t be helped; others say this creates more affordable options.
Whether or not people will want to live in such small apartments remains to be seen. My guess is yes—anything to be near the Castro.
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