To address the growing housing crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration in the last five years has encouraged the construction of micro-units and tiny houses, and even pushed for private developers to build on public housing land. Now you can add co-living to the list.
New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development is slated to announce a pilot program that will let developers access public funding for more affordable co-living projects. The program is dubbed ShareNYC, the New York Times reported.
Co-living units that already exist are largely around the market rate, though they’re often priced below traditional studio apartments. ShareNYC is seeking proposals that have income-restricted units, the report said. The units are expected to span between 150 and 400 square feet per bedroom — and will include a common kitchen and living space. The deadline is March 14, 2019.
Various types of co-living projects have emerged in the city — but the prices, even if less expensive than conventional apartments, lean toward the luxury level. The city’s program aims to give developers incentives to create more affordable versions of that model, which has been hampered by SRO laws.
“It’s really a decision that reflects what we see in the world — a shortage of small apartments,” Maria Torres-Springer, the department’s commissioner, told the Times.
The co-living concept has been gaining traction. The startup Ollie is reportedly in talks to raise more than $50 million in a new venture funding round, The Real Deal reported in September. The company has held discussions with student housing operator EdR, along with other potential investors. Its competitors Common and Bungalow have raised more than $60 million and $14 million, respectively. [NYT] — Meenal Vamburkar