Affordable Housing

madrid plaza santa anna(Community Matters) This is super, a push in NYC for thoughtful design of properties offering smaller foot prints in a way to achieve greater affordability.

Years ago sitting around a Madrid plaza with new acquaintances, they explained to me how the plazas and other public spaces are where they and their friends met since everyone had such tiny apartments. Not only is it good for affordability but for community building too.

I’d be even more excited about a new affordable housing bond initiative if I knew it was also driving this sort of innovation.

Politico Playbook: “New York City extols virtues of tiny apartments,” by AP’s Ula Ilnytzky: “With the population and rents expected to keep climbing, New York City planners are challenging architects to design ways to make it tolerable – even comfortable – to live in dwellings from 350 square feet to as small as 250 square feet. The city wants to incorporate those designs into an apartment complex to be built on Manhattan’s east side next year featuring mostly ‘micro units.’ The aim is to offer more such tiny apartments throughout the city as affordable options for the young singles, cash-poor and empty nesters who are increasingly edged out of the nation’s most expensive real-estate market. If the pilot program is successful, New York could ultimately overturn a requirement established in 1987 that all new apartments be at least 400 square feet. … San Francisco recently approved construction of apartments as small as 220 square feet. And Tokyo and Hong Kong have long offered tiny units.

“As a way to get New Yorkers to think small, the Museum of the City of New York is opening an exhibit Wednesday featuring a fully furnished 325-square-foot studio apartment that incorporates the latest space-saving designs. There’s the bed that folds out over a couch, a padded ottoman containing four nesting chairs, a fold-out dinette table tucked neatly under the kitchen counter and a TV that slides away to reveal a bar. … Other amenities in the 12-foot-by-24-foot model include a cute bathroom that is 5 feet 9 inches by 7 feet 9 inches, a refrigerator and separate freezer tucked under the counter, and the holy grail of New York apartments, a dishwasher. The Murphy bed … glides out with only a light touch of the hand. …

“New York City, which already has 8.2 million people, is projected to grow by about 600,000 people by 2030. A third of the city’s households consist of just one person, a percentage that climbs to 46 percent on the island of Manhattan. Residents face average market-value rents of $2,000 a month for a studio apartment and $2,700 a month for a one-bedroom. Newly constructed tiny apartments, depending on location, are expected to go for the price of a current studio but would have the added state-of-the-art amenities.” http://yhoo.it/Te4fbj

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