BY BOB HOLT
New York is trying to find the answer to affordable housing. Their idea is to make the homes smaller. A lot smaller.
On Monday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a competition designed to help singles or two-person households find affordable living space.
According to the New York Times, the apartments would be known as “micro-units,” and contain 275 to 300 square feet of space. The units would have a kitchen and a bathroom, but no closet.
“Young people from around the country or around the world don’t have a lot of money,” Bloomberg said at a news conference, reports the NY Times. “You have to change the rules.”
Bloomberg’s office says there are about 1.8 million one-person or two-person households in New York City, but just one million studios and one-bedroom apartments. The average market-rate rents in the city are $2,000 per month for a studio apartment and $2,700 per month for one bedroom.
According to Mail Online, current zoning laws would have to be changed if a development is approved. Regulations going back to 1987 say that new apartments in the city have to measure at least 400 square feet.
Designs are to be submitted by September, and the goal is to have the apartment design approved by 2013.
An Associated Press report on wsj.com says that 46.3 percent of households in Manhattan consist of one person, according to the 2010 census. It is estimated that 76 percent of residents on the island are single or living with one other person.