New York City’s first micro apartment building is up and running, reports Jessica Leber of Co. Exist, joining cities like Tokyo and Seattle where residents are living in micro-sized and more affordable apartments.
The 55 prefab units located on Manhattan’s east side consist of 55 apartments that are all well below the city’s regulated minimum apartment size of 400 sq. ft.
To get it built, city officials waived regulations. They did so in order to experiment with new designs that create more affordable housing in a city that sorely needs it. Today, more than half of city households devote more than 30% of their income to rent, which is the threshold for affordability as defined by federal guidelines. A family would need to make a minimum income of $114,000 a year to afford the median home price citywide (and a lot more in Manhattan). As a remedy, Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to build or preserve 200,000 affordable apartments over 10 years.