Monday, October 29, 2012

Greg Beato on Bringing Back the Flophouse

Greg Beato on Bringing Back the Flophouse:
“New York City’s housing codes
have not kept up with its changing population, and currently do not
allow an entire building of micro-units,” declared a press release
issued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office in July. Not to worry;
the mayor has a plan: Developers have been invited to submit
proposals for new residential construction on a Manhattan parking
lot owned by the city. For this particular project, the city will
waive zoning regulations that require all new apartments be at
least 400 square feet. The new development will consist mainly of
“micro-units”—studio apartments that combine general living space,
a kitchenette, and a bathroom into a total footprint of just 275 to
300 square feet.
In the days before extensive housing codes and zoning laws,
observes Greg Beato, when developers had relatively free rein to
meet the needs of the market, New York City’s housing stock, like
those of many other metropolitan centers in the U.S., was far more
diverse. If we want to revolutionize housing for today’s singles,
Beato writes, we should look to the past.
View this article.