If you feel scrunched up in your one bedroom apartment in Pleasanton where rents can run $2,000 and higher, consider this new opportunity to tighten up the space a bit and live in San Francisco.
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors last week approved a revised building code that will allow developers to build apartment complexes with units as small as 220 square feet, including a bathroom and closet.
The rent is expected to start at $1,500, not bad in a city where one bedroom apartments and studios can run up to $3,000 per month in rent.
The supervisors, in a 10-1 vote, approved the pilot program with an ordinance that will change the definition of an efficiency dwelling unit to the smaller size. For now, the ordinance also caps the construction of these mini-apartments, at yet to be determined locations, to 375 units.
The city's Planning Commission is then required to provide an analysis of the efficacy of the smaller living style before the program could be expanded and more such units can be built.
The legislation, introduced by Supervisor Scott Wiener, was touted as a way to address the housing crisis in San Francisco where one bedroom apartments and studios can run up to $3,000 per month in rent.
"This could be the difference between staying in the neighborhood or leaving," Wiener said.
He acknowledged that with rising rents throughout the city, many residents already live in close quarters.
"We already have micro-units in San Francisco -- it's called roommates," Wiener said.
Wiener said the small apartments will offer people an option to live on their own at more affordable prices, with the figure of about $1,500 per month rent discussed as an average rate.
The sole dissenting vote came from John Avalos, who said the micro-units don't seem like the proper solution to alleviate the city's housing problems, especially for working class families getting priced out of their neighborhoods.
"This overall does not make sense for the San Francisco that I know," Avalos said.
Avalos cited his own situation as part of a family of four living in the southern part of the city in District 11 in a 950-square-foot home, maxing out all the available space and unrealistically able to move into an efficiency unit.