Last week, Jeffrey Lubell here at the Center wrote his monthly Moving Forward column on "perennial grains"—ideas that could be used to make safe, decent, affordable housing sustainable and self-renewing. One tactic he mentioned is for developers and builders to begin focusing on smaller homes using the latest research and design principles to make small spaces feel and function like larger ones.
|Example "micro-unit" floorplan. Office of the Mayor, New York City|
"Young people from around the country or around the world—those are our future, and they don’t have a lot of money,” Bloomberg said at a news conference. "You have to change the rules along with the requirements."
New York's hyper-expensive housing market makes for an extreme example of such tiny homes. However, demand for this type of home in New York is not without precedent. The Times piece continues to describe the popularity of single-room occupancy buildings and so-called "bachelor's apartments" during an influx of young labor in the 1920s and 1930s.
In other housing markets, "small" homes need not be so tiny to be less expensive than average homes.