If you think San Francisco apartments are small and rents are high, well, you’re absolutely correct. But they could soon get even smaller.
SF supervisors are currently considering a proposal that would allow people to live in apartments nearly as small as a parking space. Sounds cozy, huh?
The proposed 12-by-12-foot boxes would be stacked into high-rise buildings, each equipped with a combination desk/kitchen table, and a bed.
Developer Patrick Kennedy hopes to maximize the small amount of rental space left in The City by creating the mini apartments to house thousands of young people. Kennedy told ABC Local:
“Forty-two percent of the population in San Francisco lives alone today and nothing is being built to address the needs of that demographic. On the other hand, if we can build several thousand new units specifically for that demographic – single students, single techies, then we can relieve pressure on the areas outside and on the existing housing stock.”
Kennedy’s argument is that with the rental market exploding, mini apartments would be affordable for younger adults. Imagine, instead of smushing four or five college students into a tiny SF apartment, each could afford their own space – approximately the size of a cruise ship cabin.
Last month, Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation that would allow developers to build apartments with only 150 square feet of living space.
Under the legislation, developers would be required to build a separate kitchen, bathroom, and closet for a total of 220 square feet.
State law already permits living spaces this small, but only new construction in San Francisco would qualify under this legislation. Wiener told SF Public Press:
“We have a housing shortage in San Francisco. It’s a densely populated city where a lot of people want to come, and we have to add to our housing supply in a smart way.”
Not everyone is excited about the proposal. Sara Shortt of the San Francisco’s Housing Rights Committee worries that the tiny apartments will become the new affordable housing option:
“We fight all the time to make sure that renters live in decent housing conditions. What we’re concerned about is the precedent that it sets. That it’s okay for people to live in these very tiny shoebox apartments – some of them the size of a parking space. And what does that mean for quality of life?”