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Market Update Monday: More Microdwellings

Architecture // Oct 26, 2015

322_West_57th_Street_43R_01

New York City officials are pushing for microdwellings. With Mayor de Blasio’s zoning changes underway these super-small apartments may become a reality. According to Crain’s New York Business, Zoning for Quality and Affordability — a report currently under review — suggests more relaxed density caps and the elimination of 400-square-foot minimums for studio units. This plan could lead to an approximate fifteen percent increase of apartments in the city.

The report went on to note that this increase in housing will benefit both singles and families. As of late when New York singles cannot find places to live alone, they a rent or buy multi-room apartments with roommates that could have been otherwise occupied by families.

“You can’t deny the data,” noted deputy director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, Sarah Watson, who has been a proponent for more flexibility in unit sizes for years. “This mismatch causes all sorts of economic distortions.”

Furthermore, “It’s far better to do this in an upfront way and allow denser housing, rather than having hidden density on the inside of these buildings,” she said. “Otherwise you get into the issues of not being able to plan for education or transportation, because you need to understand where people are living.”