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Would you live in a 220-square-foot 'micro apartment?'

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 This artist's concept released by shows a 300 square-foot apartment proposed for San Francisco. A change to the city's building code will allow new apartments to be as small as 220 square feet. (AP Photo/Panoramic Interests)How much living space would you sacrifice for an affordable pad in the center of a bustling city?

Lawmakers in San Francisco this week approved plans to construct what may become the tiniest apartment units in the U.S., only 220 square feet including bathroom, kitchen and closet.

That's roughly the size of two parking spaces.

Previously, the city's building code mandated that micro-apartments be no smaller than 290 square feet, but with the average studio apartment now renting for $2,000 in San Francisco, officials are reducing that number.

"To confront San Francisco's rising housing affordability crisis, we must be creative and flexible," said city supervisor Scott Wiener said in a statement published by the L.A. Times. "Allowing the construction of these units is one tool to alleviate the pressure that is making vacancies scarce and driving rental prices out of the reach of many who wish to live here."

Wiener hopes that the apartments, 375 units in total, will rent for $1,200 to $1,500 per month.

The space-location-price debate is starting to drive more North American cities the way of Tokyo, where tiny urban dwellings are already the norm.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a city-sponsored micro-unit apartment design competition in New York this summer, and in Vancouver micro-lofts as small as 226 square feet rent for about $850 per month.

Would you give up space for location and price? Is 220 square feet too small a space for you to live, or would you be happy to land an affordable place downtown in a major city?

POLL: Would you live in a 220-square-foot apartment?



Tags: POV

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