The Real Deal Los Angeles

Renters turn to micro-units to live affordably in DTLA

These 400-square-foot apartments in DTLA could cost $900 a month

May 04, 2016 12:00PM

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(credit: National Real Estate Investor)

(credit: National Real Estate Investor)

In the quest to find an affordable home in in L.A., size really doesn’t matter.

A new style of “micro-units” has gained popularity in the region, particularly Downtown, CBS2 L.A. reported. These apartments are exactly as they sound — tiny but cheap by comparison. A 380-square-foot unit could cost just over $900 a month.

“You know, you just really get down to ‘What do I really need to survive?,’” Actress Dawn Davis told the new outlet. “And you realize, ‘Wow, I have a lot of stuff I really don’t need,’” she said. Davis recently downgraded — or upgraded, depending on personal philosophy — from a three-bedroom house to a micro-unit studio.

It’s easy to see why these units are gaining traction. L.A. County is the least affordable place in the country to buy a home, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures cited by CBS2. A recent Forbes study said L.A. is also the fifth worst city for renters.

The Forbes analysis found the average rent, as of late 2015, was $1,892, or about 39 percent of the area’s average local income of $58,023.

Micro-units are currently available in Downtown Los Angeles, Glendale and Santa Monica. [CBS2]Cathaleen Chen