Cash strapped minimum wage workers and students in the Seattle area are seeking and welcoming more affordable housing in their city, but the explosion of the aPodment micro housing units in Seattle is drawing new criticism in this dense metropolitan area. City officials are claiming that these 200 square feet tiny units are unregulated and skirt the city’s building laws.
Many of the aPodments built by Calhoun Properties offer downtown amenities like private bathrooms and kitchenettes, lofts, security, private decks, access to public transportation, skylights, granite countertops and shared amenities like BBQs, roof decks and ADA accessible group kitchens. Some of these tiny spaces also come with furniture and utilities paid all for around $500-$750 a month. All this in a city where rent prices are around $1,200 a month.
The city is concerned that these more condensed forms of housing, which only require a building permit, increase the density of a neighborhood but don’t provide additional parking. They are also concerned that there is no design review before construction and have asked for a short-term moratorium on building these types of units until they can decide how to regulate them.
Micro-housing developers defend these units by stating that many people who live in downtown areas want to be closer to public transportation, shops and city amenities, but don’t want to pay higher rental prices. The idea has become so popular, that other units are being planned in Portland, Ore., California and New Jersey.
Photos by aPodments/Calhoun Properties
by Sean Verdecia
Our passion project from school, “Able-Nook,” has just gone live on Kickstarter!
I live in a small bungalow and love it, so I based my idea for a new form of disaster relief housing around a Lego version of a bungalow. The goal was to create a shelter that can be assembled in hours, without tools, on uneven terrain. These shelters can be indefinitely expanded and are shipped flat-packed. Flat-packing consolidates shipment sizes and allows more families to be helped per delivery.
As you connect the structural walls when building the integrated electrical system is also connected, along with the integrated lighting.
We are hoping that these units can take the place of FEMA trailers so that history doesn’t repeat itself, and so families can have some measure of dignity after losing their homes. Continue Reading »
This last summer, my husband and I took a three day whitewater rafting trip on the South Fork of the American River in central California. This area of the state has a culture of its own. While the mountains and the coast have the ski and surf bum, the American River is home to the seasonal river guide. Many of these river guides come from all over the country to raft and kayak one of the most popular rivers in the West and they live from May to October in a hodgepodge of dwellings.
The river guides we rafted, ate and played in the water with lived in tents at nearby campgrounds, in temporary buildings on land leased by various rafting companies or in VW buses in the parking lot. One of the guides even lived the entire summer in a hammock strung up between two live oak trees. The guides used the campground bathrooms and showers and cooked in outdoor kitchens. Around the river, and in the massive, thorny blackberry bushes these free spirits squat in what might seem like terrible living conditions, but what they see as the best way to experience the river. Continue Reading »
The popularity of Stieg Larsson’s books, and subsequent movies, about a certain tattooed girl has given rise to a new-found love of Swedish design. Sweden’s Technical Week website recently had a story on a 94 square foot tiny home that celebrates that clean design, but is also making a statement at the same time.
This experimental, free-standing tiny home for students has a kitchen, a bath with a shower, a corner office and an eating area with two chairs. A sleeping loft is accessed by a ladder. This home will rent for 30,000 Swedish crowns ($4,400) a year, when most student housing in Sweden rents for about 50,000 ($7,700) crowns a year. The country has a lack of affordable student housing and most seekers have to stand in line for an available place to live. This home will be rented out for three years to one person who can give the best reason why they should have the house. Continue Reading »