In defense of micro-units

Just read a fairly irritating article over at Curbed LA regarding “micro-units”, which are generally defined as apartments smaller than 400 sq ft.

The tone of the article is pretty negative. The blogger (whose work I generally like) spends a lot of time emphasizing how small 400 sq ft is.

Micro-units are part of the solution to our housing affordability crisis: Because they use less space but generate high per sq ft rents, developers like to build them. And the actual rents are more affordable than regularly sized units (in other words, they’re more affordable).

Sounds like a win to me.

In fact, if I were king of LA for a day, I’d set aside zones near transit where you could build lots of micro-units with little or no parking. Developers would be happy to build them and the rents would be cheap. The cost, much harder street parking in the neighborhoods, is clearly tolerable in order to get more affordable housing.