A Kansas developer has a concept for below-market-rate housing in San Francisco, but it isn’t exactly pretty.
Helsey Holdings wants to build two apartment buildings with 200-square-foot micro-apartments asking $2,000-per-month and 88 basement “sleeping pods” starting at around $1,000-per-month, according to Fast Company.
For context, a one-bedroom unit in San Francisco costs on average about $3,700-per-month.
Helsey’s Chris Elsey said the concept was borne from a goal to build the most affordable market-rate building possible without the need for government subsidies. The alternative option for providing affordable housing is building a traditional project with larger units and subsidizing some of those units with government dollars.
At first glance, the basement pods in particular seem dystopian and at second glance they still seems rather dystopian, but Helsey’s Chris Elsey said it’s a better use of that space than using it for parking or storage, like most other buildings.
The pods would be made out of plywood and several would share a common living space about the size of a traditional one-bedroom apartment. The center courtyard of the building is dug out to allow for full-size windows in each basement subspace, per city code.
The micro-unit concept has only gained popularity in the U.S. in recent years, but they’re an established model in some housing-strapped cities. Hong Kong has had micro-apartments for years and they’ve proliferated and become even smaller recently.
Helsey Holdings has submitted plans for the two apartment buildings to the city, but they haven’t yet been approved. [Fast Company]