Huge support for micro-apartments as low-cost housing?

Did you notice the story about micro apartments being built as affordable housing in New York? Well, I submitted a follow-up (below) in the Herald’s online page and they ran a poll and … guess what?

Out of more than 1000 respondents, 71 percent (at the last count) thought they were a good idea.

These tiny modular flats range from 25 to 35 square metres and work on the basis that you have some sort of fold-away bed to make the most of what little space you have.

They are built in a factory and slotted together like Lego bricks, which makes unit blocks cheaper and quicker to construct.

Thing is, they look awfully like shipping containers.  In fact, a double-length container has a floor space of 30 square metres – exactly in the middle of the range of these micropads.

Now, we recall the scandal of the shipping containers that were found being used for backpacker and student accommodation in Alexandria last year.

But then you think about all the mine workers who live in container sizes “dongas” up in the Pilbara and wonder if someone down here couldn’t come up with a way of constructing safe, affordable, temporary rental accommodation.

They could even be moved around as and when space became available on the fringes of the inner city (in brownfield sites that haven’t yet been snapped up by developers).

They cost about $30,000 each and we know people will live in a lot worse conditions if the rents are low enough, so what’s stopping us?

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