Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tiny Living

I am a big fan of small housing (an opinion not shared by all in my household).  My house is just under 1200 sq ft, and if it were not for family/friend visits I would be happy with something half the size.  So I have enjoyed looking at/reading this piece on CNN and this other piece on small apartments in the city.  I have a bit of a bone to pick...
At a minimum 150 square feet of living space — 220 when you add the bathroom, kitchen and closet — the proposed residences are being hailed as a pivotal option for singles. Opponents fear that a wave of "shoe box homes" would further marginalize families of modest means who are desperate for larger accommodations.
So opponents, at least as represented here, are stupid.  Then...
The number of micro-units that could be built under the proposal would not be capped, although critics are pushing for controls on the experiment. New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, for instance, has signed off on just 60 apartments that would be 275 to 300 square feet small.
One of the best thing about these micro units is that they can bring down costs for all housing (increased supply, constant demand, you know, basic econ).  However, that will not be possible if they are constrained in number to such a degree.

In fact, one of the reasons that housing in some areas is inaccessibly expensive is because zoning prohibits undertaking the kind of development that would drive costs down.  And that is, of course, because current owners don't want to see their property values decline.  The odd thing is people who don't want removal of the obstacles to low priced housing because they want low priced housing?!?

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