a smaller deal than you think
There's been a lot of hubbub about the Bloomberg Administration's proposal to make city-owned land available for 275-square-foot apartments. The city proposes to allow developers to build these "micro-units" and rent them for $2000 a unit. If you read some of the comments in the press, you might think this was somehow unprecedented.
But when I lived in Toronto, I had 140 square feet of living space (not counting the bathroom) and had enough space for everything but houseguests.
In New York, as in Toronto, 275 square foot units are not unprecedented. I just went on zillow.con and did a search for rental units of 100-275 square feet, and found eleven. Moreover, all of them are cheaper than the Bloomberg proposal; the cheapest, a 250-square-foot unit in northern Manhattan, rents for only $1000. Moreover,. there are plenty of larger units in the $2000 range; i went on Streetasy.com and found over a thousand units in the $1000-2000 range.
If the government wants to make housing more affordable, it is going to permit units smaller and cheaper than those currently at issue; a 275-square foot unit merely duplicates the current housing stock, and one renting for $2000 isn't even a good deal by Manhattan standards.
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