December 29, 2015

In a classic example of "very cool" and at the same time "insanely expensive," New York is set to unveil their first "tiny house" apartment building, and interest is running very high.

But the price for living in 265 square feet is also very high. Insanely high, even.

Flat walls without columns maximize furniture-arranging options, although some units come furnished with fold-out wizardry, including a desk that expands into a 12-seater table and a retractable bed that pulls down tidily over a love seat.

Developer Monadnock Construction and architecture firm Architects worked inch-by-inch to meet such requirements as a wheelchair-accessible bathroom within the small space.

Forty per cent of the units have rents set by affordable-housing programs topping out at around $1,500 a month, but market-rate ones can cost between $2,650 and $3,150.

About 20 people have applied for eight market-rate units so far, while more than 60,000 have entered a lottery for the affordable ones.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's housing plan says Carmel Place and other projects show 'developers can build compact units that are livable, safe, healthy' options for small households.

$1,500 per month is not even close to what I'd consider "affordable," even in New York City. That's insanely expensive, especially for single people who are trying to get housing under one of the city, county, state or federal programs.

Still, the concept is a good one. It's not especially new, but the tiny house movement is pushing some really innovative design ideas for small spaces that will find their way into other cities and spaces around the country.

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