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
Its been a busy two weeks, from teaching a Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Nashville, TN (what a great city, and great group!), to shooting and hosting a few days for an HGTV program, working on a new tiny, tiny, trailer house project (to bring to the Yestermorrow Fair in Vermont), continuing work on a plan set with David Stiles (one of MY favorite author/architects), AND finally finishing THIS video of Steve Sauer’s 182 square foot guest house in Seattle!
Christopher Smith (“Tiny: The Movie“, which is GREAT!) and I actually shot this well over a year ago, but time and funds to complete these have been scarce…..in fact, we’re looking for two small sponsors on our next 4-5 mini videos…kidcedar at gmail.com. Continue Reading »
by Paul and Shari Roten
We are the former owners of Kaizen Tile & Stone in the Seattle area, although are both originally from small towns in the Midwest of the USA.
We spent years renovating others homes as well as our own cottage in West Seattle prior to starting our tiny house outside Newport, Washington. We’ve gone from 10 acres of woods to having an “Ideabox” inspired home well underway with the burgundy metal roof due to be installed in just two weeks!
We’d love to include some pictures and would love to share our story. Because of your site, we have been inspired by others walking a similar path, and made changes to our footprint after seeing some of the plans from Ideabox. As parents of 5 and grandparents of another 5, we’ve decided to make our Roten Retreat a two story to accomadate our lives and loves, with option as we age to be able to live on one level only. The foot print is 500 sq ft with 1000 total for both floors. Continue Reading »
by Juliann Tallino
We weren’t looking to buy a boat, we definitely weren’t looking to buy a tugboat, we were just looking. We have a home in Port Townsend, Washington but the commute into the city for work was too much to do everyday, so at the time we were renting a house in Ballard (a neighborhood of Seattle). It was a nice house in a great neighborhood, but we really weren’t keen on being renters. When we saw the tug on craigslist we were just curious, but once we looked at the boat we realized we could stop being renters and have a place of our own in Seattle. A place on the water with a million dollar view.
The tug needed a lot of work, the decks needed to be replaced, the interior needed to be completely renovated, and the whole boat was in dire need of a coat of paint. But both my husband and I are comfortable with working in wood, so we decided it was a project we could handle. At first, my husband was worried the space would be too small for the two of us. I work at home and he thought I’d go stir crazy in such tight quarters. But when I thought about how much space I actually used in our rental house, I knew we could make it work. I think most people live in just a small part of their house, the rest of the space is taken up with storing stuff. Luckily we didn’t have a great deal of stuff. So two weeks after seeing the ad on craigslist, we bought a vintage wood tugboat, the Iver. Continue Reading »