San Francisco Approves 220-Square Foot Apartments

by Shilpi Paul

A San Francisco apartment that is much larger than 220 square feet.

The prospect of very small living spaces has been floated in DC, but in San Francisco, teeny apartments may soon be a reality.

Late last week, the city approved legislation that would allow apartments as small as 220 square feet to be built, reported SFGate. The new legislation will, hopefully, give residents a few more options in the city’s extremely pricey rental market.

From SFGate:

“To confront San Francisco’s rising housing affordability crisis, we must be creative and flexible,” [Supervisor Scott] Wiener said in a statement. “Allowing the construction of these units is one tool to alleviate the pressure that is making vacancies scarce and driving rental prices out of the reach of many who wish to live here.”

For opponents worried that the new units will be both inhumanely small and still too expensive, the Board of Supervisors decided to cap the number of units at 375; once 325 of these units are built, the living experience will be analyzed. The units, which are estimated to rent for about $1,500 per month, will likely pop up in neighborhoods like SoMa, a downtown neighborhood that is home to high-rises and tech companies. The average rent in San Francisco is approximately $2,700 a month.

DC rents are climbing as well, and many of the city’s residents are opening up to the idea of small apartments. Recently, several developers announced plans to include very small studios in new projects. Here, however, small means about 320 square feet.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/220-square-foot_apartments_oked_in_san_francisco/6334

1 Comment

  1. Mark James said at 10:32 am on Wednesday November 28, 2012:

    As a housing developer, I can see both good and bad in this issue.  On one hand, the person(s) who are young professional living home with parents or sharing a room in a house, or are otherwise underhoused would not likely complain.  The housing needs of Generation Y and beyond have changed from earlier generations toward seeking less space and more convenience (access to public transportation, shopping, in-home media, etc.)  This group, along with low-income residents seeking housing closer to their jobs, will mostly applaud smaller units.  On the other hand, if these units rent well and their rental cost per square foot increase and exceed current rent levels, they could ultimately increase the cost of the traditional rental housing stock in the market I think the 220 sq. ft. units are worth trying… but proceed with caution!

Comments are closed.

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