San Francisco must look at a variety of creative and flexible housing types in order to provide affordable living options for its residents. Micro-units, ideal for youth, singles and seniors, are being designed and built in other cities like New York, Vancouver and Tokyo, and now San Francisco. In 2011, SFHAC worked with District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener to pass legislation that allows for the construction of micro-units, also known as “efficiency dwelling units.” The legislation allows for units as small as 220 square feet comprised of 150 square feet of living space, plus a bathroom and kitchen. In order to test the effectiveness and interest in this innovative housing product, the Planning Department will analyze the effect of the units when 325 micro-units are permitted. Student housing does not factor into the micro-units count to trigger an analysis.
Micro-units will not be the silver bullet to solve our city’s affordability problem, but have become one available housing product to improve the efficiency of land that is available for housing.