San Francisco plans micro apartments

San Francisco city chiefs vote to allow 20-square-metre "micro apartments"

News: San Francisco city chiefs have voted to allow the development of "micro apartments" as small as 20 square metres in an attempt to alleviate the housing shortage in the US city.

Each of the proposed micro apartments will be required to have a minimum of 150 square feet of living space not including the kitchen, bathroom or built-in storage – but the kitchen could be included in the living space, say city supervisors.

That means the properties, which are expected to rent for between $1,300 and $1,500 per month, would be five square metres smaller than the micro-units recently proposed for New York by mayor Michael Bloomberg, and 50 square centimetres smaller than Vancouver's new micro-loft conversions, the smallest rental units in Canada.

San Francisco plans micro apartments

Above and top: images are from developers Panoramic Interests

City supervisor Scott Wiener has backed the reduced minimum size in the hope of lowering rents in the city, which currently average around $2,000 a month for a studio.

Mayor Edwin Lee is expected to make a decision on the legislation this month before the proposals can become law.

We've previously reported on New York's competition to design micro-units as well as plans to turn disused garages in east London into pop-up homes.

Other tiny properties we've featured include a 2.6-metre-wide guest house helicoptered onto a hillside in Switzerland and a quilted mobile home on the back of a tricycle.

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