SF's Micro-Apartments: 220 Square Feet for $1500

SF's Micro-Apartments: 220 Square Feet for $1500

Tess Wilson
Nov 23, 2012

And now for a post-holiday dose of most-unwelcome reality: plans are afoot in San Francisco to create a few hundred micro-apartments, for residents who want to live alone but can't afford the average studio price of $2,075/month. Remember when I said the alleged average of $1,905/month for a 2-bedroom in San Francisco sounded crazy low? Try $1,500/month for a 0-bedroom...

SF Gate has the full scoop, including renderings and floorplans of the micro-apartments. While I can't image paying that much money for that little space, I must admit the renderings look much nicer and more efficient than my studio. But in the image, you're also only seeing one view at a time (sleeping area, kitchen area, office), so it's not as painfully obvious that this is all one area, and a teeny area at that.

Here's the thing: I have a 400-square foot apartment to myself (though I have shared apartments this size and smaller), and I truly do not need any more space. However, I do deeply wish I had more money so I could fix it up: more elegant storage (and lots of it), design elements to create separate areas, a nice big bookcase, a cute little couch, etc. I pay less than $1,500 thanks to rent control and the fact that I've been here a few years, but it's still all I can afford. If I payed $1,500 there would be $0 left for any kind of improvement, and I'd need to add a 5th job to the roster.

To put this into perspective that can translate from one city to another, San Francisco's minimum wage is currently $10.24. This means that if you make minimum wage- and many, many jobs start only the tiniest bit higher- you'd have to work 36 hours/week (if you ignore taxes) just to pay the rent on a 220-square foot apartment. And another 36 to pay for everything else, I guess. Also, I'm kind of looking forward to someone writing in that an apartment that size would cost $5,000 in New York, to which I will only be able to reply, "For real?!?"

So, what do you think? Is this the way of the future? Is it sustainable, reasonable, efficient? Or does it make you shudder and vow to never, ever give up your rent-controlled apartment no matter how many problems it has? Does it enrage you, especially the sentence in the article about the possibility that these very expensive boxes, homes that many of us would struggle to afford, might just "become urban crash pads for high-tech employees"? Weigh in!

(Image: SF Gate, via Kelly Schwarze of GeekSugar)

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