Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is on record in support of micro apartments, as is City Council member Richard Conlin.
“The private market is building affordable housing for people who want it,” Conlin said. “Fundamentally, this is a good thing.”
Young people starting out, service workers and retirees on limited incomes all need affordable housing, Conlin and other supporters said.
Forty-one micro housing projects have come through the Seattle Department of Planning and Development since 2006, spokeswoman Cyndi Wilder said. Of those, 28 received permits and 13 are under examination.
The planning department is aware of the debate over the review process for micro apartment buildings, she said, and the Seattle City Council “is going through an information-gathering process.”
It would be interesting to hear more about why Seattle and a few other cities are approving more micro-apartments while not as much is happening in other cities. This isn’t necessarily happening in the densest urban areas so is this more about regulation or the willingness to try new housing arrangements (perhaps in cities that are more “bohemian”)?
This article also presents an angle that I haven’t seen much thus far in news coverage: nearby residents who oppose large numbers of micro-apartments. I wonder if micro-apartments are encountering typical NIMBY concerns such as traffic and changes to the neighborhood or whether opposition is focused on unique attributes of the units like higher density and the type of people who might live in such units.