Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Forget reinventing...How about re-legalizing Microhousing?

Casey Jaywork from the Seattle Weekly wrote a great article last week describing how Seattle has all but banned the production of congregate micro-housing and has refused to take up the HALA committee recommendation to revisit this policy. The article features a discussion of our Yobi Apartments project and how last year's micro-housing legislation has made it all but impossible to develop more projects like the Yobi.


The article used data from a DPD housing report that captured production through May of 2015.  I took that report and updated it to the current day, filling in some missing projects and adding in all of the 2015 pipeline. Here's what I found:

Annual Totals
Congregate
Units
SEDUs
2010
79
0
2011
168
0
2012
755
32
2013
1804
82
2014
1203
251
2015
124
902

One surprise: Virtually all of the new congregate housing projects are coming out of our office.  This has nothing to do with us capturing market share; our workflow on congregate housing projects has been fairly stable. Rather, it is a reflection of the rest of the market being driven away from congregate micro-housing and shifting their efforts over to SEDU production.

4 comments:

  1. Wow that is really sad. I remember when this started happening people in Olympia and other cities got so excited thinking what a great solution for housing, affordability, urban density, etc. Now the city that pioneered a-podments and microhousing is rejecting it? I'm looking forward to posting Yobi in the Code Innovations Database, perhaps stirring the pot a bit to see if this trend can be reversed. By the way, what is an SEDU?

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  2. Wow that is really sad. I remember when this started happening people in Olympia and other cities got so excited thinking what a great solution for housing, affordability, urban density, etc. Now the city that pioneered a-podments and microhousing is rejecting it? I'm looking forward to posting Yobi in the Code Innovations Database, perhaps stirring the pot a bit to see if this trend can be reversed. By the way, what is an SEDU?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A SEDU is a Small Efficiency Dwelling Unit. It is a small studio apartment. Seattle has created some rules that allow for studios that are a little smaller than what is otherwise allowed under the building code. SEDU's are also a strategy for building smaller, less expensive housing, but they are about 50% larger than congregate micro-housing units, so they rent for quite a bit more.

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  3. Nice information about architecture, thanks for sharing.
    Best architecture

    ReplyDelete