New York mayor combats housing shortage with 275 sq ft “micro-units”
Room to swing a laptop?
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Tuesday 10 July 2012
New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced plans to address the city's growing housing shortage by building “micro-units” measuring around 275 sq ft – that’s a 125 sq ft smaller than the current minimum required by law.
In a nation renowned for wide open spaces, pokey-yet-pricey NYC real estate is often the butt of jokes, but 275 sq ft – about half the size of a London Underground carriage - is small even by Big Apple standards.
The average UK new build, according to a 2011 report is 807 sq ft with an average area of 175 sq ft per room. Standards laid down by the Greater London Authority in 2010, require a 1 bedroom flat to have a minimum living space of 538 sq ft, nearly twice the size of the proposed “micro-units”.
The plan, unveiled yesterday, is for an apartment building in the Kips Bay neighbourhood of Manhattan, made up of about 80 units each retailing for under $2,000 (£1,287) per month.
The city is accepting proposals until mid-September and hopes to begin construction by 2013. If the first apartment building is successful, the scheme will be rolled out across the city.
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