The rent in this city is too damn high! I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. Everyone, of course, except for the people running the show. It’s easy to feel helpless out there, brokesters. We sometimes wonder if it’s worth the stress and the exhaustion, paying so much for so little in this little polluted place we love. But worry not, the future of housing development is upon us. Mayor Bloomberg has heard our cry: give us liberty, or give us…mini stackable apartment units?
That’s right, today the Bloomberg administration showed us the future, and unsurprisingly, it’s a little, uh, bleak. The mayor’s idea of improving the housing situation is apparently giving us the opportunity to indulge in a our very own modular units. My Micro NYC boasts living spaces between 250 and 375 square feet, which is about 200 square feet smaller than the previous legal requirement for a housing. According to The Observer, the apartments are going up in Murray hill, with 40 percent of them slated for low and middle-income housing. All the apartments will still be between $940 and $1800 though.
But look! They stack on top of each other! How cute! I almost forgot that I can barely afford the cost of living!
But I get it, kind of. Housing in New York City is becoming kind of a parody of itself. Brooklyn residents are being priced out into Manhattan, and DUMBO studios are running at upwards of $3,000 a month. Search for a 1-bedroom in Manhattan for $1,000 on Craigslist, it’s a joke. North Dakota is even looking like a viable option. But this is maybe taking it a little too far. We wanted our technology smaller, not our apartments.
Something about this approach just seems slightly amiss. While it acknowledges a very real problem in our city, what we have here is just another example of Bloomberg totally missing the point.
In this way, the city of the future isn’t too far off from the city of the past. This may be posed as part of a solution, but in no way can we call it progress. While they’re not exactly tenements, the idea of modular housing isn’t that far off: packing a ton of people into an unreasonably small space and passing it off as a favor from the city. It’s no slum, but I suspect that there must be a better housing option out there than this, which is basically the equivalent of stuffing people into stackable sample Ikea units (awesome only in theory). Oh, and they’re kind of ugly, too.
So we’re gonna call bullshit on this one. Bloomberg, you can do better. What this city needs is steps toward a better quality of life, not a cute, kitschy project that vaguely resembles a Jetsons future. And besides, if we’re headed in that direction, you can at least give us the flying cars and robot maids we were promised.